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POEMS, '^''"'""^ ''^'' 



In tl)ree Oolumciaf, 


o/^ C/arle6u of ^lecea 


To which is prefixed 

VOL. I. 

Sicut aquas tremulum labris ubi lumen ahenis 
Sole rcpercussum, aut radiantis imagine luna:. 
Omnia pervolitat late loca, jamque sub auras 
Erigitur, summique fcrit laquearia tecti. 

VIRG. 2EN. Vlir. 
So water, trembling in a polisfe'd vase. 
Reflects the beam that plays upon its face ; 
The sportive light, uncertain whi re it falls. 
Now strikes the roof, now fiaslies on th« walls. 

AMHERST, 2/. H. 

phinted by joseph gushing. 

Sold by him at his Bookstore ; by Manning- & Loring* N"^. 2, 

and by Lincohi Sc Edmands, No, 53, Cornhill, Boston. 






Y V HEN an Author, by appearing in print, requests 
an audience of the public, and is upon the point of 
speaking for himself, whoever presumes to step before 
him with a preface, and to say, " Nay, but hear me 
first," should have something worthy of attention to 
offer, or he will be justly deemed officious and imper- 
tinent. The judicious reader has, probably, upon 
Other occasions, been beforehand with me in this re- 
flection : and I am not very wiUing it should now 
be applied to me, however I may seem to expose my- 
self to the danger of it. But the thought of having 
my own name perpetuated in connexion with the 
name in the title page, is so pleasing and flattering to 
the feelings of my heart, that I am content to risk 
something for the gratification. 

This Preface is not designed to commend the Po- 
ems to which it is prefixed. My testimony would be 
insufficient for those who are not quahfied to judge prop- 


etly for themselves, and unnecessary to those who are» 
Besides, the reasons which render it improper and un- 
seemly for a man to celebrate his own performances, 
or those of his nearest relatives, will have some influ- 
ence in suppressing much of what he might otherwise 
wish to say in favour oi?i friend, when that friend is 
indeed an alter idem, and excites almost the same emo-' 
tions of sensibihty and affection as he feels for himself. 

It is very probable these Poems may come into 
the hands of some persons, in whom the sight of the 
Author's name will awaken a recollection of incident3 
and scenes, which, through length of time, they had al- 
jnost forgotten. They will be reminded oi one, who was 
once the companion of their chosen hours, and who set 
out in early life with them in the paths which lead to 
literary honours^ to influence and ^iflueiice, with equal 
prospects of success. But he was suddenly and power- 
fully withdrawn from those pursuits; and he left them 
without regret ; yet not till he had sufficient oppor- 
tunity of counting the cost, and of knowing the val- 
ue of what he gave up. If happiness could have been 
found in classical attainments, in an elegant taste, in 
the exertions of wit, fancy, and genius, and in the es- 
teem and converse of such persons as, in these respects, 
were most congenial with himself, he would have 
been happy. But he was not. — He wondered (as 
thousands in a similar situation still do) that he should 
continue dissatisfied, with all the means apparently 
conducive to satisfaction within his reach. — But in due 


lime, the cause of his disappoinment was discovered 
to him. — He had hved without God in the world. 
In a memorable hour, the wisdom which is from a- 
bove visited his heart. Then he felt himself a wan- 
derer, and then he found a guide. Upon this change 
of views, a change of plan and conduct followed of 
course. When he saw the busy and the gay world 
in its true light, he left it with as Httle reluctance, 
as a prisoner, when called to liberty, leaves his dun- 
geon. Not that he became a Cynic or an Ascetic. — . 
A heart, fiHed with love to God, will assuredly 
breathe benevolence to men. But the turn of his 
temper inchning him to rural life, he iivJulged it, and 
the providence of God evidently preparing his way, 
and marking out his retreat, he retired into the coun- 
try. By these steps the good hand of God, unknown 
to me, was providing for me one of the principal bles- 
sings of my life ; a friend and a counsellor, in whos^ 
company for almost seven years, though we were sel- 
dom seven successive waking hours separated, I always 
found new pleasure. A friend, who was not only h 
comfort to myself, but a blessing to the affectionate, 
poor people, among whom I then hved. 

Some time after inchnation had thus removed hm 
from the hurry and bustle of life, he was stiff more se- 
cluded by a long indisposition, and my pleasure was 
succeeded by a proportionable degree of anxiety and 
concern. But a hope, that the God whom lie serv- 




cd would support him under his affliction, and at 
length vouchsafe him a happy deliverance, never for- 
sook me. The desirable crisis, I trust, is now nearly 
approaching. The dawn, the presage of returning 
day, is already arrived. He is again enabled to resume his 
pen, and some of the first fruits of his recovery 
are here presented to the public. In his principal sub- 
ject?, the same acumen which distinguished him in the 
early period of life, is happily employed in illustrating 
and enforcing the truths of which he received such 
deep and unalterable impressions in his maturer years. 
His satire, if it may be called so, is benevolent, (like 
the operations of the skilful and humane surgeon, who 
wounds only to heal) dictated by a just regard for the 
honour of God, an indignant grief, excited by the 
profligacy of the age, and a tender compassion for th^ 
•iouls of men. 

His favorite topics are least insisted on in the piece 
-entitled Table Talk ; which, therefore, with some re- 
gard to the prevailing, taste, and that those who are 
governed by it may not be discouraged at the very 
threshold from proceeding farther, is placed first. In 
most of the larger Poems which follow, his leading de- 
sign is more explicitly avowed and pursued. He aims 
to communicate his own perceptions of the truth, 
beauty, and influence of the religion of the Bible.— 
A religion, which, however discredited by the miscoft- 


duct of many who have not renounced the Christian 
name, proves itself, when rightly understood, and cor- 
dially embraced, to be the grand desideratum y which a- 
lone can relieve the mind of man from painful and una- 
voidable anxieties, inspire it with stable peace and sol- 
id hope, and furnish those motives and prospects, 
which, in the present state of things, are absolutely 
necessary to produce a conduct v^orthy of a rational 
creature, distinguished by a vastness of capacity,, 
which no assemblage of earthly good can satisfy, and 
by a principle and pre-intimation of immortality. 

At a time when hypothesis and conjecture in philos- 
ophy are so justly exploded, and httle is considered as 
deserving the name of knowledge, which will not stand 
the test of experiment, the very use of the term expert'* 
mental in religious concernments, is by too many un- 
happily rejected with disgust. But we well know, 
that they who affect to despise the inward feelings 
which religious persons speak of, and to treat them as 
enthusiasm and folly, have inward feelings of their 
own, which, though they would, they cannot sup- 
press. We have been too long in the secret ourselves, 
to account the proud, the ambitious, or the voluptu- 
ous, happy. We must lose the remembrance of what 
we once were, before we can believe, that a man is 
satisfied with himself, merely because he endeavoura 

via PREPACE.. 

to appear so. A smile upon the face h often but a 
mask worn occasionally and in company, to prevent, if 
possible, a suspicion of what at the same time is passing 
in the heart. We know that there are people who 
Seldom smile when they are alone ; who, therefore, are 
glad to hide themselves in a throng from the violence 
of their own reflections ; and who, while by their looks 
and their language they wish to persuade us they are 
happy, would be glad to change their conditions witha- 
dog. But in defiance of all their efforts, they contin- 
ue to think, forebode, and ti'embJe. This we know, 
for it has been our own state, and therefore we know 
how to commiserate it in others. — From this state 
the Bible relieved us. When we were led to read it 
with attention, we found ourselves described. We 
learnt the causes of our inquietude — we were directed 
to a method of relief — we tried, and we were not dis- 

Deus nobis hate otta fecit* 

We are now certain, that the Gospel of Christ is 
the power of God unto salvation, to every one that 
believeth. It has reonciled us to God, and to our- 
selves, to our duty, and our situation. It is the balm 
and cordial of the present life, and a sovereign anti- 
dote against the fear o f death. 


Sed hactenus hac. Some smaller pieces upon less im- 
portant subjects close the volume. Not one of them 
I believe was written with a view to publication, but 
I was unwilling they should be omitted. 


Charles Square, Hoxton, 
February 18, 1782. 


TABLE TALK -•-..-... 1 

Progress of Error --•--.-.•28 
Truth -51 

Expostulation ----------72 

Hope - - . - - . - 98 

Charity 125 

Conversation ------,----- 147 

Retirement ---.-------178 

Diverting History of John Gilpin ... - 206 
Verses on the yearly Bill of Mortahty in the town 

of Northampton, 1790 215 

To John Johnson --------- 217 

To the Rev. John Newton 218 

Love "abused 218 

Epitaph on Mr. Chester ------- 219 

do. do. Mrs. M. Higgins ----- 220 

To Count Gravina 220 

Inscription for a Stone erected at the sowing of a 

Grove of Oaks 220 

do. for a Hermitage in the Author's 

garden ...-.--.--.- 221 
Stanzas on the late indecent liberties taken with 

the Remains ©f Milton - 222 


A Tale - 22S 

A Tale 224? 

The Four Ages --■---.... 227 
To the Nightingale -----.... 229 
To a young Friend >'-•...... 230 

To William Hay ley, Eeq. ------.231 

To my Cousin Ann Bodham - - - - - . 231 

To Mrs. King ---. 232 

Gratitude. To Lady Hesketh 234^ 

Lines on the Authors becoming acquainted with 

, William Hayley, Esq. - - 236 

Sonnet ...... -^ 236 

Epitaph on Fop -- 237 

To George Romney, Esq. *....« 237 

To Dr. Austin 238 

Catharina. The second part - - - . - - 239 

To Mary 240 

The Castaway -.------.- 242 

Lines in Memory of Ashley Cowper, Esq. - - 244 
Versification of a Thought ..----- 245 

On the shortness of human life - - - • - 245 
Epitaph on Dr. Johnson -..--.. 246 
To a Young Lady on her Birth Day . - . 246 
Epitaph on Samuel Rose, Esq. ----- 247 

The Colubriad 247 

Two Inscriptions ••-•. .--. 250 




:R. COV/PER was the s6n of John 
Cowper, D. D. Rector of GrCcit Berkhamstead, 
Herts. He was born on the 15th of November, 
1731* Descended of amiable and respectable 
parents, of noble affinity, and connected with 
persons of great worldly influence, his advance- 
ment in temporal affluence and honour seemed 
to demand no extraordinary mental endow- 
ments. His opening genius discovered, how- 
ever, a capacity for elegant literature^ and he 
enjoyed the best advantages for improvement 
in so pleasing a pursuiu With uncommon abil- 
ities, he possessed a most amiable temper ; and 
he became not only the darling of his relations, 
but beloved and admired by his associates in 
education ; some of whom, with inferior pros- 
pects, have since risen to distinguished reputation, 
and even to the highest professional rank. But the 
towering hopes that were naturally built on so 
flattering a ground, were undermined at an ear- 
ly period. From childhood, during which he 

VOL. I* B 


lost a much loved parent, his spirits were always 
very tender, and often greatly dejected,"^ 

He was sent to Westminster school prepara- 
tory to that course of study which it was de- 

* Mr. Cowpcr appears to have long retained a very 
tender sense of this dispensation of Providence, We 
cannot refrain quoting part of a beautiful poem, writ- 
ten by him on receiving his mother's picture out of 
Norfolk. It exhibits a most amiable pattern of filial 
My mother ! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, 
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? 
Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, 
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? 
1 heard the bell toU'd on thy burial-day, 
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away. 
And, turning from my nursery window, drew 
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu. 
But was it such ? It was ! — Where thou art gone, 
A dieus and farewells are a sound unknown. 
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, 
The parting sound shall pass my lips no more. 
Thy maidens griev'd themselves at my concern, 
Oft gave me promise of a quick return. 
What ardently I wish'd I long belie v'd, 
' And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd. • 
By disappointment every day beguil'd, 
Dupe of to-morrow, even from a child. 
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, 
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow^s spent, 
I learn'd, at last, submission to my lot, 
Ajwi though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot. 


Signed he should complete at the university. — 
Here, however, the natural timidity of his tem- 
per so much depressed him, that his friends saw 
the impropriety of attempting to transport him 
to scenes of augmented turbulence and anxiety ; 
and they entirely relinquished the plan of send- 
ing him to Oxford ; he was, therefore, entered 
at the Temple in order to prosecute those wish- 
es and hopes which were still indulged by his 

By a certain mode of arrangement, the patent 
place of clerk of the House of Lords had been 
reserved for Mr. Cowper ; and to this appoint- 
ment he was directed to look forward, as a sta- 
tion highly advantageous to himself, and 
honorable to his family. He had, while at 
Westminster, become intimate with Edward 
Thurlow, who was afterwards promoted to the 
Woolsack ; and, in addition to this, contracted 
several attachments with characters whose influ- 
ence might have greatly accelerated his future 
advancement in the world. It was, therefore, 
natural that the hopes of his friends should be 
elevated to a high degree, nor is it surprising 
that they should suffer themselves to be blinded 
to those impediments which were likely to dis- 
appoint their expectations. Their delusion was 
not, however, of long duration. No reason- 
ings, no entreaties, could overcome the aversion 
of Mr. Cowper, for what he denominated pub- 
lic life ; he even solicited madness, as a relief 
from the importunities of his friends, who, con- 
vinced of the folly of any longer persisting 
against nature and inclination, at length relin- 


quished their entreaties^ and permitted him to 
retire into that seclusion, the desire of which 
was the ruling passion of his breast. 

At this crisis appears to have commenced INIr. 
Cov» per's serious attention to the ways of God. 
Having been educated in the knowledge of the 
holy scriptures, and preserved from that fool- 
hardy arrogance which urges unhappy youths to 
infidelity, he had uniformly retained a reverence 
for the word of God. His manners were in 
general decent and amiable ; and the course of 
pleasure, in which he indulged himself, being cus- 
tomary with persons in similar circumstances, he 
had remained insensible of his state as a 
sinner in the sight of God. His mind was now^ 
for the first time, convinced of the evil of sin^ 
as a transgression of the law of God. Instead 
of finding relief from reading, every book he o« 
pened, of whatever kind, seemed to him adap- 
ted to increase his distress ; which became so 
pungent as to deprive him of his usual rest, and 
to render his broken slumbers equally miserable 
with his waking hours. While in this state, he 
w^as visited by the late Rev. Martin Madan, 
w ho w^as related to him. By explaining from 
the scriptures the doctrine of original sin, Mr.. 
Madan convinced him, that all mankind were 
on the same level with himself before God ; the 
atonement and righteousness of Christ were set 
forth to him, as the remedy which his case re- 
quired ; and the necessity of faith in Christ, 
in order to experience the blessings of 
this salvation, excited his earnest desire for the 
attainment. I'hese important truths were a 
temporary source of consolation ; but the next 
day he sunk into melancholy and despair* 


Growing at length, however, familiar with his 
situation, he suffered it to be alleviated by con- 
versation w^ith Dr. Cotton, a pious and humane 
physician at St. Alban's, under \vhose care he 
had been happily placed. He began to take 
some pleasure in sharing daily the domestic 
worship which was laudably practised by the 
Doctor; and he found relief fro. n his despair, 
bv reading in the scriptures that " God hath set 
forth Jesus Christ as a propitiation, through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness 
for the remission of sins that are past, through 
the forbearance of God." Rom. iii, 25. While 
meditating upon this passage, he obtained, in a 
few minutes, a clear view of the gospel, vrhich 
was attended with unspeakable joy. Many of his 
subsequent days were occupied with praise and 
prayer, and his heart overflowed with love to his 
crucified Redeemer. A hymn, which he wrote 
under these delightful impressions, will best de- 
scribe the comfort he enjoved. (See No. 43, 
in Vol. III.) 

The first transports of his joy, which almost 
prevented his necessary sleep, having subsided, 
were followed by a sweet serenity of spirit, 
which he was enabled to retain, notwithstanding 
reviving struggles of corruption. The comfort 
he enjoyed in the profitable conversation of his 
beloved physician, induced him to prolong his 
stay at St. Alban^s for twelve months after his 
recovery* Having determined upon renoun- 
cing his profession of the law, he retired to 
Huntingdon, v/here he lived in the most inti- 
mate friendship with the Rev. Mr. Unwin, to 
whom he dedicated his Tirocinium ; and, two 
or three years afterwards, on the death of IV£r. 


Unwm, he removed to Olney, in Buckingham- 
shire, accompanied by that gentleman's widow. 
Here he contracted a friendship with the Rev. 
Mr. Newton, (now Rector of St. Mary Wool- 
north, London) and indulged, amidst rural 
scenes, those religious pleasures and occupations 
which experience had taught him to value far 
above all that the polite or the busy world could 
afford. Another of his hymns expresses w^hat 
he felt when entering on his retirement. (See 
No. 44, in Vol. III.) 

Mr. Cowper's walk with God in private was 
consistent with the solemnity and fervour of his 
social engagements. Like the prophet Daniel, 
and the royal psalmist, he '^ kneeled three times 
a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his 
God" in retirement, beside the regular practice 
of domestic worship. His mind was stayed up- 
on God ; and, for an unusual course of years, it 
was kept in perfect peace. The corrupt disposi- 
tions, which have so strong a hold upon the hu- 
man heart, appeared to be peculiarly suppressed 
in him ; and, when in any degree felt, they were 
lamented and resisted by him. His HymnSy 
mostly written during this part of his life, de- 
scribe both the general tenor of his thoughts 
and their occasional wanderings, with a force 
of expression dictated by the liveliness of his 
feelings. While his attainments in the love of 
Gcd were thus eminent, his christian love to fel- 
low-believers, and to all around him, was highly 
exemplary. To a conduct void of offence to a- 
ny individual, and marked with peculiar kind- 
ness to all who feared God, was added a benef- 
icence fully proportioned to his ability, and ex- 
ercised with the greatest modesty and discre- 


The consolation, which, after having endured 
the severest distress, he at that time derived 
from a life of faith in the Son of God, who lov- 
ed him and gave himself for him, he thus de- 
scribes, in an affecting allegory. 

« I was a stricken deer, that left the herd 
Long since, with many an arrow, deep infixed, 
My panting side was charg'd ; when I withdrew 
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades, 
There was I found by one who had himself 
Been hurt by the archers. In his side he bore^ 
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars. 
With gentle force soliciting the darts> 
He drew them forth, andheal*d,andbademelive," 


The degree and the uninterrupted duration 
of his spiritual comforts had, perhaps, exceeded 
the usual experience of pious people^ But he 
now conceived some presentiment of a sad re- 
verse ; and, during a solitary walk in the fields, 
he composed a hymn, strongly expressive of his 
sensations. (See No. 32, in Vol. III.) The 
bright, yet serene lustre, which had usually 
marked his road, v/as now succeeded by impen- 
etrable darkness. After the clearest views of 
the iov? of God, and the expansion of heart 
which he had enjoyed in his ways, his mind be- 
came obscured, confused and dismayed. That 
vivid imagination, which often attained the ut- 
most limits of the sphere of reason, did but too 
easily transgress them ; and his spirits, no long- 
er sustained upon the wings of faith and hope, 
sunk, with their weight of natural depression, 
into the abyss of despair. In this state his 
mind became fixed ; yet he ever cherished an 
unshaken submission to what he imagined the 
Divine pleasure* 



Gradually habituated as at a former period, 
to his situation, he became accessible to a few 
intimate friends in succession, who laboured to 
excite his thoughts to activity on different sub- 
jects. Thus originated most of those Poems, 
which, when published, charmed and surpris- 
ed both the literary and religious world. Some 
times his mind was led so far from his distress, 
as to indulge in playful essays ; but these inter- 
vals were extremely transient. In general his 
Poems are the evident dictates of that reverence 
for God, that esteem for the Gospel, and that 
benevolence toward fellow-creatures, which char- 
acterized his familiar conversation. 

Of the general condition of his mind, during 
the last seven years of his abode in the vicinity 
of Olney, which certainly were the most tran- 
quil that he passed in the latter part of his life, 
the best judgment may be formed from his own 
expressions, in a poem written towards the 
close of that inten^al, part of which vfe have al- 
ready quoted. It was occasioned by the unex- 
pected acquisition of a small portrait of his 
mother, whom he had lost more than half a 
century before, but had never ceased to remem- 
ber with the warmest gratitude and the fond- 
est affection. Having described her's and his 
father's passage through this life to a heavenly 
world, under the figure of a voyage speedily 
terminated, he naturally reverts, in the same 
metaphorical language, to the distressing con- 
trast which his own situation and prospects pre- 
** But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, 
Always from port withheld, alv\'ays distressed, — 
Me howling winds drive devious, tempest-toss*d> 
Sails ript, seams opening wide, and compass lost : 


And, day by day, some current's thwarting force 

Sets me more distant from a prosperous course. 

B^t, oh ! that thou art safe, and he ! 

That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.*' 
The principal pleasure that he appeared capa* 
ble of receiving was, indeed, that which he de- 
rived from the happiness of others. Instead 
of being provoked to discontent and envy, by 
contrasting their comforts with his own afflic- 
tions, tliere evidently was not a benefit that he 
knew to be enjoyed by others, which did not af- 
ford him sensible satisfaction ; not a suffering 
they endured that did not add to his pain. To 
the happiness of those who were privileged with 
opportunities of shewing their esteem for him, 
he was most tenderly alive.. 'Die advancemeut- 
of the knov/ledge of Christ in the v/orld at large 
was always near his heart ; and whatever con- 
cerned the general welfare of mankind v.^as in- 
teresting to him, secluded as he was from the 
public^ anil, in common, from Veligious societyo^ 
In like manner, from his distant retreat, he view- 
ed, v/ith painful sensations, the progress of in- 
fidelity, and of sin in: every shape. His love to 
God, though vtnassisted by a cheerful hope of 
divine favour, was invariably manifested by an 
abhorrence of every thing that he thought dis- 
honourable to the Most High, and a delight in all 
that tended to his glory. 

Mr. Cowper was latterly under the care of his 
affectionate and intelligent young relative, the 
Rev. John Johnson, who, during the last year 
or two of his life, had sometimes indulged the^ 
hope of witnessing his complete restoration to 
health. Suddenly, however, this expectation 
was fatally disappointed ; and towards, the close 


of 1799, it became sufficiently evident that 
he could not successfully contend with the 
ravages of a rapid decay ; that, ere long^ the 
mortal must put on immortality* Conscious of 
the speedy approach of this important change, 
however agonizing to himself, Mr. Johnson un- 
remittingly exercised that attention which 
Young so truly describes as — 

The dreadful post of observation, 

Darker every hour. 

On the 25ih of April, 1800, friendship was at 
length discharged from these afflicting duties, 
and its object happily released from this scene 
of suffering and sorrow* Early on the morning 
of that day, Mr. Cowper sunk into a state of 
such apparent insensibility, that, had not his 
eyes remained half open, it might have been 
conjectured a tranquil slumber. In this situa- 
tion — ^his respiration regular, though feeble f his 
countenance and frame perfectly serene — he 
continued about twelve hours, when he expired 
without heaving his breath. 

To the preceding remarks, on the life of Cow- 
per may be added the following modest and 
characterestic epitome, drawn by himself in a let- 
ter to a literary friend, dated March the 10th, 
1792. '^ You are in danger, I perceive,'' says 
he, of 'thinking of me more highly than you 
ought to think. I am not one of the Literati, 
among whom you seem disposed to place me ; — 
far from it. I told you how heinously I am 
unprovided with the means of being so, having 
long since sent all my books to market. My 
learning accordingly lies in a very narro^t com- 
pass. It is school-boy learning somewhat im- 
proved, and very little more. From the age of 


20 to 33, I was occupied, or ought to have been, 
in the study of the law. From 33 to 60 I have 
spent my time in the country, where my read- 
ing has been only an apology for idleness, and 
where, when I had not either a magazine or a 
review in my hancl, I was sometimes a carpen- 
ter, at others, a bird-cage maker, or a gardener, 
or a drawer of landscapes. At 50 years of age 
I commenced an author. It is a whim that has 
served me longest and best, and which will 
probably be my last. Thus you sec I have had 
very little opportunity to become what is prop- 
erly called — learned. In truth, having given my- 
self so entirely of late to poetry, I am not sorry 
for this deficiency ; since great learning, I have 
been sometimes iticlined to suspect, is rather a 
hindrance to the fancy than a furtherance." 

THE Writings of Cowper, though not volu- 
minous, are yet such as have secured to their 
author no mean rank among the standard poeta 
of his country ; — an elevation not at this day 
attainable, without sound and prominent excel- 

The first volume of poems which he publish- 
ed consists of various pieces, on various sub- 
jects. It seems that he had been assiduous in 
cultivating a turn for grave and argumentative 
versification on moral and ethical topics. 
Of this kind is the Table Talk, and several oth- 
er pieces in the collection. 

The lighter poems are well known. Of these 
the verses supposed to be written by Alexander 
Selkirk, on the island of Juan Fernandes, are in 
high estimation. It would be absurd to give 
one general character of the pieces that were 


published in this voUime ; yet this is true con- 
cerning Mr. Cowper^s productions ; that in all 
the varieties of his style, there may still be dis*- 
cemed the likeness of the same mind ; the same 
unaffected modesty, which always rejects unsea- 
sonable ambitions and ornaments of language. 
He understands the whole science of numbers^ 
and he has practised their different kinds with 
considerable happiness : and if his verses do not 
flow toswifdy as the delicacy of a modem ear re- 
requires, that roughness, which is objected to his 
poetry, is his choice, not his defect. But this sort 
of critics, who admire only what is exquisitely 
polished, these -lovers of ''^ gentleness without sin- 
ews," ought to take into their estimate that vast 
•effusion of thought, which is so abundantly pour- 
ed over the writings of ?vlr* Covv-per, without 
which human discourse is only an idle combina- 
ition of sounds and syllables* 

What has, however, peculiarly given to Cow^ 
per the character of a poet is the Task. Though 
the occasioTi that gave birth to it was a trivial 
one, yet he expanded the performance into one 
of the finest moral poems of which the English 
language has been productive. 

It is written in blank verse, of which the con- 
struction, though hi some respects resembling 
Milton's, is truly original and characteristic* 
It is not too stately for familiar description, nor 
too depressed for sublime and elevated imagery* 
If it has any fault, it is that of being too much 
laden with idiomatic expression, a iault which 
tlie author, in the rapidity with which his ideas 
and his utterance seemed to have flowed, very 
tiaturally incurred* 


In this poem his fancy ran with the most ex- 
cursive freedom. The poet enlarges upon his 
topics, and confirms his argument by every va- 
riety of illustration. He never, however, 
dwells upon them too long, but leaves off in 
such a manner, that it seems it was in his power 
to have said more. 

The arguments of the poem are various. 
The works of nature, the associations with 
which they exhibit themselves, the designs of 
Providence^ and the passions of men. Of one 
advantage the writer as amply availed himself. 
The work not being rigidly confined to any 
precise subject, he has indulged himself in all 
the freedom of a miscellaneous poem. Yet he 
has still adhered so faithfully to the general laws 
of congruity, that whether he inspires the softer 
affections into his reader, or delights him with 
keen and playful raillery, or discourses on ordi- 
nary manners, or holds up the bright pictures of 
religious consolation to his mind, he adopts 
at pleasure a diction just and appropriate, 
equal in elevation to the sacred effusions of 
Christian rapture, and sufficiently easy and fa- 
miliar for descriptions of domestic life ; skilful 
alike in soaring without effort, and descending 
without meanness. 

He who desires to put into the hands of youth 
a poem, which, not destitute of poetical embel- 
lishment, is free from all licentious tendency, 
will find in the Task a book adapted to his pur- 
pose. Here all is grave, and majestic, and mor- 
al. A vein of religious thinking pervades every 
page ; and he discourses, in a strain of the 
most finished poetry^, on the insufficiency and 
vanity of human pursuits. 
VOL. I. C 


Nor IS he always severe. He is perpetually- 
enlivening the mind of his reader by sportive 
descriptions. The Task abounds with inci- 
dents, introduced as episodes, and interposing 
an agreeable relief to the grave and serious parts 
of the poetry. Who has not admired his Crazy 
Kate ? A description, in which the calamity of 
a disordered reason is painted with admirable 
exactness and simplicity/. 

** She begs an idle pin of all she jneets." 

Perhaps no poet would have introduced so 
minute a circumstance into his representation ; 
yet it derives its effect altogether from the mi- 
nuteness with which it is drawn. 

The next work which ]VJi% Cowper published, 
was a translation of the Iliad, and the Odyssey* 
The design was worthy of his talents. His ob- 
ject was to present the father of poesy to the 
English reader, not in English habiliments and 
modem attire, but in the graceful and antique 
habit of hi^ own times. He, therefore, adopted 
blank verse to avoid the restrictions which 
rhyme imposes. 

It is foolish to compare the translation of 
Pope with that of Cowper. The merits of each 
arc distinct. Pope has exhibited Homer as he 
w^ould have sung had he been born in England. 
Cowper has attempted to pourtray him as he 
wrote in Greece, adhering frequently to the 
peculiarities of his own idiom, and endeavoring 
to preserve his strength and energy, as well as 
^is harmony and smoothness. 


THE following extracts from Mr. Covvper's 
letters, written to his cousin, Mrs. Cowper, are 
given as a specimen of the Christian temper by 
which he was habitually influenced. The first 
gives a brief account of his conversion, and 
clearly demonstrates that he considered man in 
his natural state as actuated by a heart of enmity 
against God, and that his recovery from that 
state is alone by Christ's atonement, applied to 
the soul by faith. The second evidences that 
his religion disposed him to spend his time in 
the service, and to the glory of his Redeemer, 
and that he contemned the fashionable methods 
of murdering time by vain amusements. In the 
third, his evangelical principles are plainly de- 
clared, and the influence of them manifested in 
his determinate choice to be devoted to God, 
though the consequence were the world's disap- 
probation. The fourth discovers a holy sympa- 
thy with his religious friends in trouble, and 
shows that he knew how to direct them to the 
only solid source of comfort. In the fifth is 
an account of the motives which induced him to 
write and publish his poems, and his desire that 
thev might be useful in the reformation of a 

dissolute age. 

( No. 1, ) 

" I would discourage in myself upon all occa- 
sions, even a pride that felt itself hurt upon a 
mere suspicion of neglect. I have so much 


€:iuse for humility, and so much need of it too^ 
and every little sneaking resentment is such an 
enemy to it, that I hope I shall neVer give quar- 
ter to any thing that appears, in the shape of 
suUenness or self-consequence "Tiereafter. Alas ! 
if my best friend, Avho laid down his life for me, 
vere to remember all the instances, in which I 
nave neglected him, and to plead them against 
me in judgment, where should I hide my guilty 
head in the day of recompense ? I will pray, 
therefore, for blessings upon my friends, even 
though they cease to be so, and upon my ene- 
mies, though they continue such. The deceit- 
fulness of the natural heart is inconceivable : 
I know well that I passed upon my friends for 
a person at least religiously inclined, if not act- 
ually religious ; and what is more wonderful, 
I thought myself a Christian when I had no 
faith in Christ, when I saw no beauty in him, 
that I should desire him '; in short when I had 
neither faith nor love, nor any Christian grace 
whatever, but a thousand seeds of rebellion in- 
stead, eA'er more springing up in enmity against 
him. But blessed be God, even the God who 
is become my salvation. The hail of affliction 
and rebuke lor sin has swept away the refuge 
of lies. It pleased the Almighty in great mer- 
cy to set all my misdeeds before me. At length, 
the storm being past, a quiet and peaceful seren- 
ity of soul succeeded, such as ever attends the 
gift of lively faith in the all sufficient atone- 
ment, and the sweet sense of mercy and pardon 
purchased by the blood of Christ. Thus did he 
break me and bind me up ; thus did he wound 
me, and liis handi made me whole. My dear 


cousin, I make no apology for entertaining you 
with the history of my conversion, because I 
know you to be a Christian in the sterling im- 
port of the appellation. This is however but 
a very summary account of the matter ; neither 
would a letter contain the astonishing particu- 
lars of it. If we ever meet again in this world,^ 
I will relate them to you by word of mouth ; if 
not, they will serv^e for the subject of a confer- 
rence in the next, where I doubt not I shall re- 
member and record them with a gratitude bet- 
ter suited to the subject." 
April 17 y 1766. 

( No. 2. } 

" As to amusements, I mean v/liat the world 
Galls such, we have none ; the place, indeed, 
swarms with them, and cards and dancing are 
the professed business of almost all the gentle 
inhabitants of Huntingdon. We refuse to take 
part in them, or to be accessaries to this way of 
murdering our time, and by so doing, have ac- 
quired the name of Methodists. Having told 
you how we do not spend our time, I will next 
say how we do. We breakfast commonly be- 
tween eight and nine ;, till eleven, we read either 
the Scripture, or the sermons of some 
faithful preacher of these holy mysteries ; at 
eleven,, we attend divine service, which is per- 
formed here twice evciy day, and from twelve 
to three, we separate, and amuse ourselves a& 
we please. During that interval I either read 
in my ov/n apartment, or walk, or ride, or work 
i^ the garden. We seldom sit an hour after dia- 


ner, but if the weather permits adjourn to the 
g-arden, where, with Mrs. Unwin and her son, I 
have generally the pleasure of religious conver- 
sation till tea time ! If it rains, or is too windy 
for walking, we either converse within doors, or 
sing some devotional hymns, and by the help of 
Mrs. Unwin's harpsichord make up a tolerable 
concert, in which our hearts, I hope, are the best 
:?ndmost musical performers. After tea we sally 
forth to walk in good earnest. Mrs. Unwin is 
a good walker, and we have generally travelled 
about four miles before w^e see home again. 
W' hen the days are short, we make this excur- 
sion in the former part of the day, between 
church time and dinner. At night we read 
and converse as before till supper, and common 
ly finish the evening either with hymns or a 
sermon and last of all the family are called to 
prayers. I need not tell yoii^ that such a life as 
this is consistent with the utmost cheerfulness ; 
accordingly, we are all happy, and dwell together 
in unity as brethren. Mrs. Unwin has almost a 
maternal affection for me, and I have something 
very like a filial one for her ; and her son and I 
are brothers. Blessed be the God of our salva- 
tion for such companions, and for such a life ; 
above all, for an heart to like it. 

*' I have had many anxious thoughts about 
taking orders, and I believe every new convert 
is apt to think himself called upon for that pur- 
pose ; but it has pleased God, by means w^hich 
there is no need to particularize, to give me full 
satisfaction as to the propriety of declining it ; 
indeed, they who have the least idea of what I 
have suffered from the dread of public exhibi- 


tions, will really excuse my never attempting 
them hereafter. In the mean time, if it please 
the Almighty, I may be an instrument of turn- 
ing many to the truth in a private way, and hop€ 
that my endeavours in this way have not been 
entirely unsuccessful. Had I the zeal of Moses, 
I should want an Aaron to be my spokes-man,.'* 
Hunthigdony Oct. 20, 1766. 

C No. 3. ) 

" To find those whom I love dearly and 
strongly persuaded of evangelical truth, gives 
me a pleasure superior to any that this world can 
afford me. Judge then, whether your letter, in 
which the body and substance of a saving faith 
is so evidently set forth, could meet with a luke- 
warm reception at niy hands, or be entertained 
with indifference ! Would you know the true 
reason of my long silence I Conscious that my 
religious principles are generally excepted 
against, and that the conduct they produce 
wherever they are heartily maintained, is still 
more the object of disapprobation than those 
principles themselves, and remembering that I 
had made both the one and the other known to 
you, without having any clear assurance that 
our faith in Jesus was of the same stamp and 
character, I could not help thinking it possible 
that you might disapprove both my sentiments 
and practice ; that you might think the one un- 
supported by Scripture, and the other whimsi- 
cal, and unnecessarily strict and rigorous i and 


consequently \vould be rather pleased with the 
suspension of a correspondence which a differ- 
ent way of thinking upon so momentous a sub- 
ject as that we wrote upon was likely to render 
tedious and irksome to you* 

^' I have told you tlxe truth from my heart ;: 
forgive me these injurious suspicions^ and never 
imagine that I shall hear from you upon this de- 
lightful theme without a real joy, or without 
a prayer to God to prosper you in the way 
of his truth, his sanctifying and saving 
truth. The book you mention lies now upon 
my table. Marshal is an old acquaintance of 
mine ; I have both read him, and heard him 
read with pleasure and edification. The doc- 
trines he maintains are, under the influence of 
the Spirit of Christ, the very life of my soul, and 
the soul of all my happiness ; that Jesus is a 
present Saviour from the guilt of sin by his most 
precious blood, and from the power of it by his 
spirit y that corrupt and wretched in our- 
selves, in Him, and in Him onlijy we are com- 
plete ; that being united to Jesus by a lively 
faith, we have a solid and eternal interest in hi& 
obedience and sufferings, to justify us before 
the face of our heavenly Father, and that all this 
inestimable treasure, the earnest of which is in 
grace, and its consummation in glory, is given, 
freely given to us of God ; in short, that he 
hath opened the kingdom of heaven ta all believ- 
ers. Tliese are the truths which, by the grace 
of God, shall ever be dearer to me than life it* 
self ; shall ever be phiced next my heart as the 
throne whereon the Saviour himself shall sit, to 
»way all its motions, and reduce that world of 
iniquity and rebellion to a state of filial and af- 


fectioiiate obedience to the will of the Most 

^' These, my dear cousin, are the truths to 
which by nature we are enemies— **they debase 
the sinner, and ex ilt the Saviour, to a deg^i^ee 
which the pride of our hearts (till almighty 
grace subdues them) is determined never to al- 
low. May the Almighty reveal his Son in our 
hearts continually more and more, and teach us 
to increase in love towards him continually, for 
having ^iven us the unspeakable riches of 

March 11, 1767. 

(Nor 4< > 

^^ A letter from ydur brotber Frederic 
brought me yesterday the most afflicting intelli- 
gence that has reached me these many years. I 
pray to God to comfort you, and to enable you 
to sustain this heavy stroke with that resigna- 
tion to his will, which none but Himself can 
give, and which he gives to none but his own 
children. How blessed and happy is your lot, 
my dear friend, beyond the common lot of the 
greater part of mankind ; that you know what 
it is to draw near to God in prayer, and are ac- 
quainted with a throne of grace ! You have re- 
sources in the infinite love of a dear Redeemer, 
which are withheld from millions : and the 
promises of God, which are yea and amen in 
Jesus, are sufficient to answer all your necessi- 
ties, and to sweeten the biucre$t cup which 


your heavenly Father will ever put into J'0ufhand# 
May He now give you liberty to drink at these 
welis of salvation, till you are filled with conso- 
lation and peace in the midst of trouble. He 
has said, when thou passcst through the fire, I 
will be with thee, and when through the floods, 
they shall not overflov/ thee. You have need of 
such a word as this, and he knows your need of 
it, and the time of necessity is the time when he 
will be sure to appear in behalf of those wh^ 
trust him. I bear you and yours upon my heart 
before him night and day, for I never expect to 
hear of a distress which shall call upon me with 
a louder voice to pray for the sufferer, I 
knov/ the Lord hears me for myself, vile and 
sinful as I am, and believe, and am sure, that h« 
V, ill hear me for you also. He is the Friend of 
the w^idow, and the Father of the fatherless^ 
even God in his holy habitation ; in all our af- 
flictions he is afflicted, and chastens us in mer- 
cy. Surely he will sanctify this dispensation to 
you ; do you great and everlasting good by it j 
make the world appear like dust and vanity in 
your sight, as it truly is, and open to your view 
the glories of a better country, where there shall 
be no more death, neither sorrow nor pain, but 
God shall wipe a^\'ay all tears from your eyes 
forever. Oh that comfortable word ! ^' I have 
chosen thee in the furnace of affliction," so that 
our very sorrows are evidences of our calling, 
and he chastens us because w^e are children. 

*' My dear cousin, I commit you to the word 
of his grace, and to the comforts of his Holy 
Spirit. Your life is needful for your family : 
may God in mercy to them prolong it, and may 


he preserve you from the dangerous effects which 
a stroke like this might have upon a frame so 
tender as yours— I grieve with you ; I pray for 
you ; could I do more, I would, but God must 
comfort you.'^ 

^Iney^Au^. 31 y 1769. 

( No. 5. ) 

** It is a bold undertaking at this time of day, 
when so many writers of the greatest abilities 
have gone before, who seem to have anticipated 
every valuable subject, as well as all the graces 
of poetical embellishment, to step forth into the 
world in the character of a bard, especially when 
it is considered that luxury^, idleness and vice 
have debauched the public taste, and that nothing 
hardly is welcome, but childish fiction, or what 
has at least a tendency to excite a laugh. I 
thought, however, that I had stumbled upon 
some subjects that had never before been poet- 
ically treated, and upon some others, to which I 
imagined it would not be difficult to give an air 
of novelty, by the manner of treating them. My 
sole drift is to be useful : a point which, howev- 
er, I knew I should in vain aim at, unless I 
could be likewise entertaining. I have there- 
fore fixed these two strings upon my bow, and 
by the help of both have done my best to send 
my arrow to the mark. My readers will hardly 
have begun to laugh, before they will be called 
upoa to correct that levity, and peruse me with 


a more serious air. As to the effect, I leax'c it 
alone in His hands who can alone produce it ; 
neitlier prose nor verse can reform the manners 
of a disjsolute age ; much less can they inspire 
a sense of religious obligation, unless assisted 
and made efficacious by the Power w^ho superin- 
tends the truth he has vouchsafed to impart." 
October 19, 1781. 



5/ te forte m:a gravis uret sarcina chart a ^ jlbjicitg* 
HoR. lib. I. epist. 13. 

jti, jI OU told me, I remember, glory, built 
On selfish principles, is shame and guilt ; 
The deeds, that men admire as half divine, 
Staik naught, because corrupt in their design ! 
Strange doctrine this, that without scruple teari 
The laurel that the very lightning spares ; 
Brings down the wamor's trophy to the dust. 
And eats into his bloody sword like rust. 

B, I grant that, men continuing what they arc. 
Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war ; 
And never meant the rule should be apphed 
To him that fights with justice on his side. 

Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews, 
Reward his memory, dear to every muse, 
Who, with a courage of unshaken root,' 
In honour's field advancing his firm foot, 

VOL. I. A 


Plants It upon tlie line that justice draw5^ 
And will prevail, or perish in her cause. 
'Tis to the virtues of such men man owes 
His portion in the good that Heaven bestows, 
And when recording history displays 
Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days ; 
Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died 
Where duty placM them, at their country's side ; 
The man that is not mov'd with what he reads. 
That takes not fire at their heroic deeds. 
Unworthy of the blessings of the brave, 
Is base in kir^d, and born to be a slave. 

Bu* let eternal infamy pursue 
The wretch, to naught but his ambition true ^ 
Who, for the sake of filling with one blast 
The post -herns of all Europe, lays her waste. 
Think yourself statictn'd on a towering rock. 
To see a people scattered like a flock. 
Some royal mastiff panting at their heels. 
With all the savage thirst a tiger feels ; 
Then view him, self-proclaim'd, in a gazette, 
Chief monster that has plagu'd the nations yet ! 
The globe and sceptre in such hands misplac'd. 
Those ensigns of dominion, how disgraced! 
The glass that bids man m.ark the fleeting hour. 
And death^s own scythe, w^ould better speak his power f 
Then grace the bony phantom in their stead, 
With the king's shoulder-knot and gay cockade ; 
Clothe the twin brethren in each other's dress^ 
The same their occupation and success. 


A^ 'Tis your Belief the world was made for man ; 
Kings do but reason on the self same plan : 
Maintaining yours, you cannot theirs condemn, 
Who think, or seem to think, man made for them. 

B. Seldom, alas ! the power cf logic reigns 
With much sufficiency in royal brains ; 
Such reasoning falls like an inverted cone, 
Wanting its proper base to ft and upon. 
Man made for kings ! those optics are but dim 
That tell you so — say, rather, they for him. 
That were, indeed, a king-ennobling thought. 
Could they, or would they, reason as they ought. 
The diadem, with mighty projects lin'd, 
To catch renown by ruining mankind. 
Is worth, with all its gold and glittering store. 
Just what the toy will sell forj and no more. 

Oh ! bright occasions of dispensing good. 
How seldom us*d, how little understood I 
To pour in virtue's lap her just reward, 
Keep vice restrain'd behind a double guard % 
To quell the faction that affronts the throne, 
By silent magnanimity alone : 
To nurse with tender care the thriving r.rls, 
Watch every beam philosophy imparts ; 
To give religion her unbridled scope, 
Nor judge by statute a believer's hope ; 
With close fidelity and love un feign' d, 
To keep the matrimonial bond unstain'd ; 
Covetous only of a virtuous praise ; 
His life a lesson to the land he ^ways : 


To toucli the sword with conscientious awe, 
Nor draw it but when duty bids him draw ; 
To sheath it in the peace-restoring close 
With joy beyond what victory bestows ; 
Elest country, where these kingly glories shine ! 
Blest England, if this happiness be thine I 

jf. Guard what you say ; the patriotic tribe 
Will sneer, and charge you with a bribe. — B. A bribe ? 
The worth of his three kingdoms I defy, 
To lure me to the baseness of a lie. 
And, of all lies, (be that one poet's boast) 
The lie that flatters I abhor the most. 
Those arts be theirs who hate his gentle reign, 
But he that loves him has no need to feign. 

ji. Your smooth eulogium, to one crown address'c^ 
Seems to imply a censure on the rest. 

B» Quevedo, as he tells his sober tale, 
Ask'd, when in hell, to see the royal jail ; 
Approv'd their method in all other things ; 
But where, good Sir, do you confine your kings J 
There — said his guide — the groupe is full in view. 
Indeed ? — replied the Don — there are but few. 
His black interpreter the charge disdain'd — 
■^^eAv, fellow ? — there are all that ever reign'd. 
Wit, undistinguishing, is apt to strike 
The guilty and not guilty, both alike. 
I grant the sarcasm is too severe, 
And we can readily refute it here j 


While Alfred's name, the father of his age, 
And the sixth Edward's, grace th' historic page. 

j4. Kifigs then, at last, have but the lot of all, 
By their own conduct they must stand or fall. 

B. True. While they live the courtly laureat pays 
His quit-rent ode, his pepper-corn of praise ; 
And many a dunce, whose fingers itch to write, 
Adds, as he can, his tributary mite : 
A subject's faults a subject may proclaim, 
A monarch's errors are forbidden game 1 
Thus, free from censure, over-aw'd by fear. 
And prais'd for virtues that they scorn to wear. 
The fleeting forms of majesty engage 
Respect, while stalking o*er life's narrow stage ; 
Then leave their crimes for history to scan. 
And ask, w^ith busy scorn, Was this the man ? 

I pity kings, whom worship waits upon. 
Obsequious, from the cradle to the throne ; 
Before whose infant eyes the flatterer bows, 
And binds a wreath about their baby brows ! 
Whom education stiffens into state. 
And death awakens from that dream too late. 
Oh ! if servility with supple knees. 
Whose trade it is to smile, to crouch, to please ; 
If smooth dissimulation, skill* d to grace 
A devil's purpose with an angel's face ; 
If smiling peeresses and simpering peers. 
Encompassing his throne a few short years ; 
A 2 



If the gilt carriage and the pamper'd steed, 
That wants no driving, and disdains the lead } 
If guards, mechanically forra'd in ranks, 
Playing, at beat of drum, their martial pranks. 
Shouldering and standing as if stuck to stone> 
While condescending majesty looks on ; 
If monarchy consist in such base things. 
Sighing, I say again, I pity kings I 

To be suspected, thwarted, and withstecd. 
Even when he labours for his countr}^'s good ; 
To see a band, call'd patriot, for no cause. 
But that they catch at popular applause, 
Careless of all th* anxiety he feels, 
Hook disappointment on the public wheels ; 
With all their flippant fluency of tongue. 
Most confident, whea palpably most wrong ; 
If this be kingly, then farewell for me 
All kingship ! and may I be poor swid free 1 

To be th« Table Talk of clubs up stairs. 
To which th' unwash'd artificer repairs, 
T' indulge his genius after long fatigue, 
By diving into cabinet intrigue ; 
(For what kings deem a toil, as well they may, 
To him is relaxation asd mere play) 
To win no praise when well-wrought plans prevail, 
But to be rudely censurM when they fail ; 
To doubt the love his favorites may pretend, 
And in reality to find no friend ; 


If he indulge a cultivated taste, ^ 

His galleries with the works of art well gracM, L 

To hear it eall'd extravagance and waste ; J 

If these attendants, and if such as these, 
Must follow royalty, then welcome ease ; 
However humble and confined the sphere, 
Happy the state that has not these to fear. 

^. Thus men, whose tlwughts contemplative have 
On situations that they never felt, [dwelt 

Start up sagacious, covered with the dust 
Of dreaming study and pedantic rust. 
And prate and preach about what others provt, 
As if the world and they were hand and glave. 
Leave kingly backs to cope with kingly cares, 
They have their weight to carry — subjects theirg ; 
Poets, of all men, ever least regret 
Increasing taxes, and the nation's debt. 
Could you contrive the payment, and rehearse 
The mighty plan, oracular, in verse. 
No bard, howe'er majestic, old or new, 
Should claim my fix'd attention mare than you. 

B. Not Brindley nor Bridgewater would essay 
To turn the course of Helicon that way ; 
Nor would the Nine consent the sacred tide 
Should purl amidst the traffic of Cheapside, 
Or tinkle in 'Change-Alley, to amuse 
The leathern ears of stock-jobbers and Jews. 

-^. Vouchsafe, at least, to pitch the key of rhyme 
Tq themes more pertinent, if less sublime. 


When ministers and ministerial arts ; 
Patriots, who love good places at their hearts ; 
When admirals, extolPd for standing still. 
Or doing nothing with a deal of skill ; 
Generals, who will not conquer when they may, 
Firm friends to peace, to pleasure, and good pay } 
When freedom, wounded almost to despair. 
Though discontent alone can find out where ; 
When themes like these employ the poet's tongue, 
I hear as mute as if a syren sung. 
Or tell me, if you can, what power maintains 
A Briton's scorn of arbitrary chains. 
That were a theme might animate the dead, 
And move the lips of poets cast in lead. 

B. The cause, though worth the search, may yet elucle 
Conjecture and remark, however shrewd. 
They take, perhaps, a well directed aim, 
Who seek it in his climate and his frame. 
Liberal in all things else, yet nature, here. 
With stern severity deals out the year. 
Winter invades the spring, and often pours 
A chilling flood on summer's drooping flowers ; 
Unwelcome vapours quench autumnal beams, 
Ungenial blasts attending curl the streams ; 
The peasants urge their harvest, ply the fork 
With double toil, and shiver at their work ; 
Thus with a rigour, for his good design'd. 
She rears her favourite man of all mankind. 
His form robust, and of elastic tone. 
Proportioned well, half muscle and half bonff 


Supplies With warm activity and force 
A mind well lodged, and masculine of com*se. 
Hence liberty, sweet liberty inspires 
And keeps alive his fierce but noble fires- 
Patient of constitutional control, 
He bears it with meek manliness of soul j 
But if authority grow wanton, woe 
To him that treads upon his free-born toe ; 
One step beyond the bouadary of the laws 
Fires him at once in freedom's glorious cause* 
Thus proud prerogative, not much rever'd, 
Is seldom felt, though sometimes seen and heard ; 
And in his cage, like parrot fine and gay, 
Is kept to strut, look big, and talk away. 

Born in a climate softer far than ours. 
Not form'd like us with such Herculean povyers, 
The Frenchman, easy, debonair, and brisk, 
Give him his lass, his fiddle, and his frisk, 
Is always happy, reign whoever may, 
And laughs the sense of misery far away ; 
He drinks his simple beverage with a gust ; 
And, feasting on an onion and a crust, 
We never feel th' alacrity and joy 
With which he shouts and carols — ^ii?^ le Roy^ 
Fill'd with as much true merriment and glee. 
As if he heard his king say — Slave, be free. 

Thus happiness depends, as nature shows, 
Less on exterior things than most suppose* 


Vigilant over all that he has made, 
Kind Providence attends with gracious aid ; 
Bids equity throughout his works prevail, 
And weighs the nations in an even scale ; 
He can encourage slavery to a smile, 
And fill with discontent a British isle. 

yf. Freeman and slave, then, if the care bo such, 
Stand on a level ; and you prove too much : 
If all men indiscriminately share 
His fostering powder, and tutelar)^ care, 
As well be yok'd by despotism's hand, 
As dwell at large in Britain's charter'd land. 

S. No. Freedom has a thousand charms to show. 
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know. 
The mind attains, beneath her happy reign. 
The growth that nature meant she should attain ; 
The varied fields of science, ever new, 
Opening and wider opening on her view, 
She ventures onv/ard with a prosperous force, 
While no base fear impedes her in her course : 
Religion, richest favour of the skies. 
Stands most reveal 'J before the freeman*s eyes ; 
No shades of superstition blot the day, 
Liberty chases all that gloom away ; 
The soul, emancipated, unoppress'd. 
Free to prove all things, and hold fast the best, 
Learns much ; and, to a thousand listening mind5> 
Communicates with joy the good she finds | 


Valiant in arms, and ever prompt to show 

His manlyr forehead to the fiercest foe ; 

Glorious in war, but for the sake of peace, 

His spirits rising as his toils increase, 

Guards well what arts and industry have won. 

And freedom claims him for her first-born son. 

Slaves fight for what were better cact away — 

The chain that binds them, and a tyrant's sway ; 

But they, that fight for freedom, undertake 

The noblest cause mankind can have at stake : 

Religion, virtue, truth, whatever we call 

A. blessing — freedom is the pledge of all, 

O liberty ! the prisoner's pleasing dream. 

The poet's muse, his passion, and his theme ; 

Genius is thine, and thou art fancy's nurse ; 

Lost, without thee, th' ennobling powers of verse j 

Heroic song, from thy free touch, acquires 

Its clearest tone, the rapture it inspires ; 

Place me where winter breathes his keenest air. 

And I will sing, if hberty be there ; 

And I will sing, at liberty's dear fc6t, 

In Afric's torrid clime, or India's fiercest heat. 

y^. Sing where you please ; in such a cause I grant 
An English poet's privilege to rant ; 
But is not freedom — at least, is not ours 
Too apt to play the wanton with her powers. 
Grow freakish, and, o'erleaping every mound. 
Spread anarchy and terror all around ? 

B. Agreed. But, would you sell or slay your horse^ 
For bounding and curvetting in his course ; 


Or if, T^'hen. ridden with a careless rein, 

He break away, and seek the distaiit plain ? 

No. His high mettle, under good control. 

Gives him Olympic speed, and shoots him to the goal. 

Let discipline employ her wholesome arts ; 
Let magistrates alert perform their parts. 
Not skulk or put on a prudential mask. 
As if their duty were a desperate task ; 
Let active laws apply the needful curb. 
To guard the peace that riot would disturb ; 
And libertTj preserv'd from wild excess. 
Shall raise no feuds for armies to suppress. 
When tumult lately burst his prison door, 
And set plebeian thousands in a roar ; 
"When he usurp'd authority's just place. 
And dar'd to look his m.aster in the face ; 
When the rude rabble's watch-word was — destroy, 
And blazing London seem'd a second Troy ; 
Liberty blush'd, and hung her drooping head, 
Beheld their progress with the deepest dread ; 
Elush'd that effects like these she should produce, 
Worse than the deeds of galley-slaves broke loose. 
She loses, in such storms, her very name. 
And fierce licentiousness should bear the blame. 

Incomparable gem ! thy worth untold ; [^sold 5 
Cheap, though blood bought ; and thrown away when 
May no foes ravish thee, and no false friend ^ 

Betray thee, w^hile professing to defend ; 
Prize it, ye ministers ; ye monarchs, spare ; 
Ye patriots, guard it with a miser's care. 


A. Patriots, alas ! the few that have been found. 
Where most they flourish, upon Enghsh ground^ 
The countr)''s need have scantily supplied, 

And the last left the scene when Chatham died. 

B, Not so — the virtue still adorns our age. 
Though the chief actor died upon the sta^e. 
In him Demosthenes was heard again ; 
Liberty taught him her Athenian strain ; 
She cloth'd him with authority and awe. 
Spoke from his lips, and in his looks gave law. 
His speech, his form, his action, full of grace, 
And all his country beaming in his fajce, 

He stood, as some inimitable hand 

Would strive to make a Paul or Tully stand. 

No sycophant or slave, that dar'd oppose 

Her sacred cause, but trembled when he rose ; 

And every venal stickler for the yoke 

Felt himself crush'd at the first word he spoke. 

Such men are rais'd to station and command. 
When Providence means mercy to a land. 
He speaks, and they appear ; to him they owe 
Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow 
To manage with address, to seize with power, 
The crisis of a dark, decisive hour. 

So Gideon earned a victory not his own ; 
Subserviency his praise, and that alone. 

Poor England ! thou art a devoted deer. 
Beset wifh every ill but that of fear. 

VOL. I. ^ 


The nations hunt ; all mark thee for a prov ; 

They swarm around thee, and thou stand'st at bay. 

Undaunted still though wearied and perplex'd, 

Once Chatham sar'd thee ; but who saves thee next ? 

Alas ! the tide of pleasure sweeps along 

Ail that should be the boast of British soncr. 

'Tis not the wreath that onceadorn'd thy broxr, 

The prize of happier times, will serve thee now. 

Our ancestry ; a gallant Christian race, 

Patterns of every virtue, every grace, 

Confess'd a God ; they kneel'd before they fought. 

And prais*d him in the victories he wrought. 

Now, from the dust of ancient days, bring forth 

Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth ; 

Courage, ungrac'd by these, affronts the skies. 

Is but the fire without the sacrifice. 

The stream that feeds the well-spring of the heard 

Not more invigorates life's noblest part, 

Than virtue quickens, with a warmth divine. 

The powers that sin has brought to a decHne. 

y^. Th' inestimable estimate of Brown 
Rose like a paper-kite, and charm'd the town ; 
But measures, plann'd and executed well, 
Shifted the wind that rais'dit, and it fell. 
He trod the very self-same ground you tread. 
And victoiy refuted all he said. 

B, And yet his judgment was not fram*d amiss ^ 
Its error, if it err'd, was merely this — 
He thought the dying hour already come. 
And a complete recovery struck him dumb. 


But, that effeminacy, folly, lust, 
Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must ; 
And that a nation, shamefully debas'd, 
Will be despis'd and tram.pled on at last. 
Unless sweet penitence her powers renew, 
Is truth, if history itself be true. 
There is a time, and justice marks the date, 
For long forbearing clemency to wait ; 
That hour elaps'd, th' incurable revolt 
Is punish' d, and down comes the thunder-bolt. 
If mercy then put by the threatening blow. 
Must she perform the same kind office now P 
May she ! and, if offended Heaven be still 
Accessible, and prayer prevail, she will, 
'Tis not however insolence and noise, 
The tempest of tumultuary joys. 
Nor is it, yet, despondence and dismay. 
Will win her visits or engage her stay ; 
prayer only, and the penitential tear, 
Can call her smiling down and fix her here. 

But, when a country (one that I could name) 
In prostitution sinks the sense of shame ; 
When infamous venality, grown bold, 
Writes on his bosom — To be let or sold ; 
When perjury, that heaven-defying vice. 
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lov/est price ; 
Stamps God*s own name upon a lie just made. 
To turn a penny in the way of trade ; 
W^hen avarice starves (and never hides his face) 
Two or three millions of the human rage, 


And not a tongue inquires, how, where, or whefl. 

Though conscience will have twinges now and then ; 

When profanation of the sacred cause, 

In all its parts, times, ministry and laws, 

Bespeaks a land, once Christian, fallen and lost 

in all that wars against that title most ; 

What follows next, let cities of great name. 

And regions, long since desolate, proclaim. 

Nineveh, Babylon, and ancient Rome, 

Speak to the present times, and times to come ; 

They cry aloud in every careless ear, 

Stop, while you may ; suspend your mad career : 

O learn from our example and our fate, 

Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late. 

Not only vice disposes and prepares 
The mind, that slumbers s\^eetly in her snares, 
To stoop to tyranny*s usurp'd command. 
And bend her pohsh'd neck beneath his hand, 
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws 
Unchangeably connected with its cause ;) 
But Providence himself will intervene. 
To throw his dark displeasure o'er the scene. 
All are his instruments ; each form of war, 
What burns at home or threatens from afar. 
Nature in arms, her elements at strife, 
The storms that overset the joys of hfe, 
Are but his rods to scourge a guilty land. 
And waste it at the bidding of his hand. 
He gives the word, and mutiny soon roars 
In ail her gates, and shakes her distant shores 5 


Yhe Standards of all nations are unfurPd ; 

She has one foe, and that one foe the world. 

And, if he doom that people with a frown. 

And mark them with a seal of wrath press'd down. 

Obduracy takes place : callous and tough, 

The reprobated race grows judgment proof: 

Earth shakes beneath them and heaven roars above ; 

But nothing scares them from the course they love : 

To the lascivious pipe and wanton song. 

That charm down fear, they frolic it along, 

With mad rapidity and unconcern, 

Down to the gulf from which is no return. 

They trust in navies, and their navies fail — 

God's curse can cast away ten thousand sail ! 

They trust in armies, and their courage dies ; 

In wisdom, wealth, in fortune, and in lies ; 

But all they trust in withers, as it must. 

When HE commands, in whom they place no trust. 

Vengeance, at last, pours down upon their coast 

A long despis'd, but now victorious, host ; 

Tyranny sends the chain that must abridge 

The noble sweep of all their privilege ; 

Gives liberty the last, the mortal shock, 

Slips the slave's collar on, and snaps the lock. 

j^. Such lofty strains embellish what you teach, 
Mean you to prophesy, or but to preach ? 

B» I know the mind that feels, indeed, the fire 
TJie muse imparts, and cau command the lyre^ 


Acts with a force, and kindles with a zeal> 

Whatever the theme, that others never feek 

If human woes her soft attention claim, 

A tender sympathy pervades the frame. 

She pours a sensibihty divine 

Along the nerve of every feeling line. 

But, if a deed, not tamely to be borne, 

Pir€ indignation and a sense of scorn, 

The strings are swept with such a power so loud, 
The storm of music shakes th' astonish'd crowd. 

So, when remote futurity is brought 

Before the k-een inquiry of her -thought, 

A terrible sagacity informs 

The poet's heart ; he looks to distant storms "i 

He hears the thunder ere the tempest lowers ; 

And, armM with strength surpassing human powers^ 

Seizes events, as yet unknown to man, 

And darts his soul into the dawning plan. 

Hence in a Roman mouth, the graceful name 

Of prophet and of poet was the same ; 

Hence British poets, too, the priesthood shar'd. 

And every hallowed Druid was a bard. 

B'Jt no prophetic fires to me belong .; 

I play with syllables, and sport in song, 

J, At Westminster, where little poets strive 
To set a distich upon six and five, 
Where disciphne helps opening buds of sense, 
And'rtlakes his pupils proud with silver pencQp 
I was a poet too : but modern taste 
Is so refin'd, and delicate, and cta^te^ 


That verse, whatever fire the fancy warms, 
Without a creamy smoothness, has no charms. 
Thus, all success depending on an ear, 
-And thinking I might purchase it too dear. 
If sentiment were sacrific'd to sound, 
And truth cut short to make a period round, 
I judged a man of sense could scarce do worse, 
Than caper in the morris-dance of verse. 

B. Thus reputation is a spur to wit. 
And some wits flag through fear of losing it. 
Give me the line that plows its stately course, 
Like a proud swan, conquering the stream by force 5 
That, like some cottage beauty, strikes the heart, 
Quite unindebted to the tricks of art. 
When labour and when dulness club in hand, 
Like the two figures at St. Dunstan's stand^ 
Beating alternately, in measured time. 
The clock-work tintinabulum of rhyme, 
Lxact and regular the sounds will be ; 
But such mere quarter-strokes are not for me. 

From him wTio rears a poem lank and long. 
To him who strains his all into a song 5 
Perhaps some bonny Caledonian air, 
AH birks and braes, though he was nev-er there ; 
Or, having whelp'd a prologue with great pains. 
Feels himself spent, and fumble* for his brains ; 
A prologue interdash'd with many a stroke— 
An art contriv'd to advertise a joke, 
So tr at thejest is clearly to be seen, 
-^ot in the words— but in the^ap between :s 


Manner is all in all, whatever is writ, 
The substitute for genius, sense, and wit. 

To dally much with subjects mean and low. 
Proves that the mind is weak, or makes it so. 
Neglected talents rust into decay, 
And every effort ends in push-pin play. 
The man that means success, should soar above 
A solJ:or*s feather, or a lady's glove ; 
Else, summoning the muse to such a theme, 
The fruit of all her labour is whipt-cream. 
As if an eagle flew aloft, and then — 
Stoop'd from its highest pitch to pounce a wren. 
As if the poet, purposing to wed. 
Should carve himself a wife in gingerbread. 

Ages elaps'd ere Homer's lamp appeared, 
And ages ere the Mantuan swan v/as heard ; 
To carry nature lengths unknown before. 
To give a Milton birth, ask'd ages more. 
Thus genius rose and set at ordered times. 
And shot a day-spring into distant climes, 
I Ennobling every region that he chose. 
He sunk in Greece, in Italy he rose ; 
And tedious years of Gothic darkness pass'd, 
Emerg'd all splendour in our isle at last. 
Thus lovely halcyons dive into the main. 
Then shov/ far off their shining plumes again. 

A. Is genius only found in epic lays ? 
Prove this, and forfeit all pretence to praise. 


Make their heroic powers your own at once, 
Or candidly confess yourself a dunce. 

B. These were the chief : each interval of night 
Was graced with many an undulating light. 
In less illustrious bards his beauty shone 
A meteor, or a star ; in these, the sun. 

The nightingale may claim the topmost bough, 
While the poor grasshopper must chirp below : 
Like him, unnotic'd, I, and such as I, 
Spread little wings, and rather skip than fly ; 
Perch 'd on the meagre produce of the land, 
An ell or two of prospect we command ; 
But never peep beyond the thorny bound. 
Or oaken fence, that hems the paddoc round. 

In Eden, ere yet innocence of heart 
Had faded, poetry was not an art ; 
Language, above all teaching, or, if taught. 
Only by gratitude and glowing thought, 
Elegant as simplicity, and warm 
As ecstacy, unmanacled by form, 
Not prompted, as in our degenerate days. 
By low ambition and the thirst of praise, 
Was natural as is the flowing stream, 
And yet magnificent — a God the theme ! 
That theme on earth exhausted, though above 
'Tis found as everlasting as his love, 
Man lavish'd all his thoughts on human things— 
The feats of heroes, and the wrath of kings j 


But Still, while virtue kindled his delight, 

The song was moral, and so far was right, 

'Twas thus till luxury seduc'd the mind, 

To joys less innocent, as less refin'd ; 

Then genius danc'd a bacchanal ; he crownM 

The brimming goblet, seiz'd the thyrsus, bound 

His brows with ivy, rush'd into the field 

Of wild imagination, and there reePd, 

The victim of his own lascivious fires. 

And, dizzy with delight, pro fan 'd the sacred wires. 

Anacreon, Horace, play'd in Greece and Rome 

This bedlam part ; and others nearer home. 

When Cromwell fought for power, and while hp 

reign 'd 
The proud Protector of the power he gain'd. 
Religion harsh, intolerant, austere. 
Parent of manners like herself severe, 
Drew a rough copy of the Christian face, 
Without the smile, the sweetness, or the grace ; 
The dark and sullen humour of the time 
Judg*d every effort of the muse a crime : 
Verse, in the finest mould of fancy cast, 
Was lumber in an age so void of taste : 
But when the second Charles assum'd the sway. 
And arts revivM beneath a softer day, 
Then, like a bow long forc'd into a curve. 
The mind, releasM from too constrained a nerve, 
Flew to its first position with a spring. 
That made the vaulted roofs of pleasure ring. 


His court, the dissolute and hateful school 
Of wantonness, where vice was taught by rul<?, 
Swarm'd with a scribbling herd, as deep inlai4 
With brutal lust, as ever Circe made. 
From these a long succession, in the rage 
Of rank obscenity, d^bauch'd their age ; 
Nor ceas'd, till, ever anxious to redress 
Th' abuses of her sacred charge, the press. 
The muse instructed a w^ell nurtured train 
Of abler votaries, to cleanse the strain, 
And claim the palm for purity of song, 
That lewdness had usurp'd and worn so long. 
Then decent pleasantry and sterling sense, 
That neither gave nor would endure often cc, 
WhippM out of sight, with satire just and keen, 
The puppy pack that had defiPd the scene. 

In front of these came Addison. In him 
Humour in holiday and sightly trim, 
Sublimity and attic taste, combinM, 
To polish, furnish, and dehght the mind. 
Then Pope, as harmony itself exact. 
In verse well disciplined, complete, compact. 
Gave virtue and morality a grace. 
That, quite eclipsing pleasure's painted face, 
Levied a tax of wonder and applause 
Even on the fools that trampled on their laws. 
But he (his musical finesse was such, 
So nice his ear, so delicate his touch) 
Made poetry a mere mechanic art ; 
An-d every warbler has his tune by heart. 


Nature imparting her satiric gift, 

Her serious mirth, to Arbuthnot and Swift, 

With droll sobriety they rais'd a smile 

At folly's cost, themselves unmov'd the while. 

That constellation set, the world in vain 

Must hope to look upon their like again. 

ji. Are we then left-r--ff . Not wholly in the dark ; 
Wit, now and then, struck smartly, shows a spark, 
Sufficient to redeem the modern race 
From total night, and absolute disgrace. 
While servile trick and imitative knack 
Confine the million in the beaten track, 
Perhaps some courser, who disdains the road, 
Snuffs up the wind^ and flings himself abroad. 
Contemporaries all surpass'd, s,ee one ; 
Short his career, indeed, b«t ably run ; 
Churchill, himself unconscious of his powers, 
In penury consum'd his idle hours ; 
And, like a scattered seed at random sown. 
Was left to spring by vigour of his own. - 
Lifted at length by dignity of thought 
And dint of genius to an affluent lot, 
He laid his head in luxury's soft lap. 
And took, too often, there his easy nap. 
If brighter beams than all he threw not forth, 
'Twas negligence in him, not want of worth. 
Surly and slovenly, and bold and coarse. 
Too proud for art, and trusting in mere force, 
Spendthrift alike of money and of wit, 
^Iways at speed, and never dravyitig bit| 


He stinick the lyre in such a careless mood, 
And so disdain'd the rules he understood. 
The laurel seemM to wait on his command ; 
He snatchM it rudely from the muses' hand. 
Nature, exerting an unwearied power, 
Forms, opens, and gives scent to every flower ; 
Spreads the fresh verdure of the field, and leads 
The dancing Naiads through the dewy meads : 
She fills, profuse, ten thousand little throats 
With music, modulating all their notes ; 
And charms the woodland scenes, and wilds unknown, 
With artless airs and concerts of her own : 
But seldom (as if fearful of expense) 
Vouchsafes to man a poet's just pretence- 
Fervency, freedom, fluency of thought, 
Harmony, strength, words exquisitely sought ! 
Fancy, that from the bow that spans the sky 
Brings colours, dipp'd in heaven, that never die ; 
A soul exalted above earth ; a mind 
Skill'd in the characters that form mankind ; 
And, as the sun, in rising beauty dress'd, 
Looks to the westward from the dappled east, 
And marks, whatever clouds may interpose, 
Ere yet his race begins its glorious close ; 
An eye like his to catch the distant goal ; 
Or, ere the wheels of verse begin to roll, 
Like his, to shed illuminating rays 
On every scene and subject it surveys ; 
Thus gracM, the man asserts a poet's nam.e. 
And the world cheerfully admits the claim. 
T9L. I. c 


Pity religion has so seldom found 

A skillul guide into poetic ground ! 

The flowers would spring where'er she deign* d to stray. 

And every muse attend her in her way. 

Virtue, indeed, meets many a rhyming friend, 

And many a compliment poHtely penn'd ; 

But, unattir'd in that becoming vest 

Religion weaves for her, and half undress'd. 

Stands in the desert, shivering and forlorn, 

A wintry figure, hke a withered thorn. 

The shelves are full, all other themes are sped ; 

Hackney 'd and worn to the last slimsy thread. 

Satire has long since done his best ; and curst 

And loathsome ribaldry has done his worst ^ 

Fancy has sported all her powers away 

In tales, in trifle?, and in children's play ; 

And 'tis the sad complaint, and almost true, 

Whate'er we wTite, we bring forth nothing new. 

^Twere new, indeed, to see a bard all fire, 

Touched with a coal from heaven, assume the lyrCj 

And tell the world, still kindling as he sung, 

With more than mortal music on his tongue, 

That HE, who died below, and reigns above. 

Inspires the song, and that his name is love. 

For, after all, if m.erely to beguile, 
By flowing numbers and a flowery style, 
The tasdium that the lazy rich endure, 
Which now and then sweet poetry may cure ; 
Or, if to see the name of idle self 
Stamped on the well-bound quarto, grace the shelf. 


To float a bubble on the breath of fame, 

Prompt his endeavour, and engage his aim,^ 

Debased to servile purposes of pride, 

How are the powers of genius misapplied ! 

The gift, whose office is the Giver's praise, 

To trace him in his word, his works, his ways I' 

Then spread the rich discovery, and invite 

Mankind to share in the divine delight. 

Distorted from its use and just design, 

To make the pitiful possessor shine ; 

To purchase, at the fool-frequented fair 

Of vanity, a wreath for self to wear. 

Is profanation of the basest kind — 

Proof of a trifling and a worthless mind* 

/I* Hail, Sternhold, then ; and Hopkins, hail 1 
B, Amen. 
If flattery, folly, lust, employ the pen ; 
If acrimony, slander, and abuse. 
Give it a charge to blacken and traduce ; 
Though Butler's wit. Pope's numbers, Prior's ca'^e^ 
With all that fancy can invent to please. 
Adorn the polish' d periods as they fall, 
One madrigal of theirs is worth them all.- 

ji. 'Twould thin the ranks of the poetic tribe^^ 
To dash the pen through all that you proscribe.- 

B. No matter — we could shift when they were not ;^ 
And should, no doubt, if they were all forgot. 



St quid loquar auJlendum, — HoR. Lib. 4. Od. 2, 

^ING, muse, if such a theme, so dark, so long, 
May find a muse to grace it with a song, 
By what unseen and unsuspected arts 
The serpent, error, twines round human hearts ; 
Tell where she lurks, beneath what flowery shades, 
That not a glimpse of genuine light pervades, 
Tlie poisonous, black, insinuating worm, 
Successfully conceals her loathsome form. 
Take, if ye can, ye careless and supine. 
Counsel and caution from a voice like mine ! 
Truths, that the theorist could never reach, 
And observation taught me, I would teacb. 

Not all whose eloquence the fancy fills. 
Musical as the chime of tinkling rills, 
Weak to perform, though mighty to pretend, 
Can trace her mazy windings to their end ; 
Discern the fraud beneath the specious lure, 
Prevent the danger, or prescribe the cure. 
The clear harangue, and cold as it is clearj 
Falls soporific on the listless ear ; 


Like quicksilver, the rhetoric they display- 
Shines as it runs, but grasp'd at, slips away. 

Plac*d for his trial on this bustling stage. 
From thoughtless youth to ruminating age, 
Free in his will to choose or to refuse, 
Man i|iay improve the crisis, or abuse ; 
Else on the fatalist's unrighteous plan, 
Say, to what bar amenable were man ; 
With naught in charge he could betray no trust ; 
And, if he fell, would fall because he must ; 
If love reward him, or if vengeance strike. 
His recorapense is b.oth unjust alike. 
Divine authority within his breast 
Brings every thought, word, action to the test ; 
Warns him or prompts, approves him or restrains. 
As reason, or as passion, takes the reins. 
Heaven from above, and conscience from within, 
Cry in his startled ear — Abstain from sin 1 
The world around solicits his desire, 
And kindles in his soul a treacherous fire ; 
While, all his purposes and steps to guard, 
Peace follows virtue as its sure reward ; 
And pleasure brings as surely in her train. 
Remorse, and sorrow, and vindictive pain. 

Man, thus endued with an elective voice. 
Must be supplied with objects of his choice. 
Where'er he turns, enjoyment and delight. 
Or present, or in prospect, meet his sight ; 


Those open on the spot their honied store; 
These call him, loudly, to pursuit of more. 
His unexhausted mine the sordid vice 
Avarice shows, and virtue is the price. 
Here various motives his ambition raise- 
Power, pomp and splendour, and the thirst of praise;; 
There beauty w^oos him with expanded arms ; 
_,E'en Bacchanahan madness has its charms. 

Nor these alone, whose pleasures, less refin'd, 
"Might well alarm the most unguarded mind, 
Seek to supplant his inexperienc'd youth, 
Or lead him, devious, from the path of truth.; 
Hourly allurements on his passions press. 
Safe in themselves, but dangerous in th' excess. 

Hark i how it fioats upon the dewy air ! 
O what a dying, dying close was there ! 
'Tis harmony from yon sequester'd bower, 
Sweet harmony, that soothes the midnight hour:! 
Long ere the charioteer of day had run 
His morning course, th' enchantment was begun ; 
And he shall gild yon mountain's height again. 
Ere yet the pleasing toil becomes a pain. 

Is tliis the rugged path, the steep ascent, 
That virtue points to r Can a life thus spent 
Lead to the bliss she promises the wise, 
Detach the soul frcm earth, and speed her to the skie$? 
Ye devotees to your ador'd employ, 
Enthusiast, drunk with an unreal joy., 


Love makes the music of the blest above, 
Heaven's harmony in universal love ; 
And earthly sounds, though sweet, and well com- 
And lenient as soft opiates to the mind, [b: 
Leave vice and folly unsubdued behind. 

com- "J 

inM, > 

Grey dawn appears, the sportsman and his train 
Speckle the bosom of the distant plain ; 
^Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighbouring lairs, 
Save that his scent is less acute than theirs; 
For persevering chase, and headlong leaps, 
True beagle, as the staunchest hound he keeps* 
Charg'd with the folly of his life's mad scene, 
He takes offence and wonders what you mean ; 
The joy the danger and the toil overpays — 
'Tis exercise, and health, and length of days. 
Again, impetuous to the ficld he flies ; 
Leaps every fence but one, there falls and dies ; 
Like a slain deer the tumbrel brings him home, 
Unmiss'd, but by his dogs and by his groom. 

Ye clergy ; while your orbit is your place, 
Lights of the world, and stars of liuman race ; 
But if, eccentric, ye forsake your sphere, 
Prodigies ominous, and view'd with fear. 
The comet's baneful influence is a dream ; 
Yours real, and pernicious in th' extreme. 
What then ! are appetites and lusts laid down 
With the same ease that man puts on his gown ? 
Will avarice and concupiscence give place, 
Cha-m'd by the sounds — Your Reverence, or Your 
Grace ? 

.98 PROG&ESS or error; 

No. But his own engagement binds him fast 
Or if it does not, brands him to the last, 
What atheists call him — a designing knave, 
A mere church juggler, hypocrite, and slave, 
Oh^ laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest, 
A cassock'd huntsman and a fiddling priest ! 
He from Italian songsters takes his cue : 
Set Paul to music, he shall quote him too. 
He takes the field. The master of the pack 
Cries — Well done, saint ! and claps him on the back. 
Is this the path of sanctity ? Is this 
To stand a way-mark in the road to bliss ? 
Himself a wanderer from the narrow way, 
His silly sheep, what wonder if they stray ? 
Go cast your orders at your bishop^s feet. 
Send your dishonoured gown to Monmouth-street ! 
The sacred function in your hands is made- 
Sad sacrilege 1 — no function, but a trade ! 

Occiduus is a pastor of renown ; 
When he has pray'd and preach'd the Sabbath down, 
With wire and catgut he concludes the day. 
Quavering and semiquavering care away. 
The full concerto swells upon your ear ; 
All elbows shake. Look in, and you would swear 
The Babylonian tyrant, with a nod, 
Had summoned them to serve his golden god. 
So well that thought th' employment setms to suit, 
Psaltery and sackbut, dulcimer, and flute. 
Oh fie ! 'tis evangelical and pure : 
Observe each face how sober and demure ! 


Ecstasy sets her stamp on every mein ; 

Chins fallen, and not an eye-ball to be seen. 

Still I insist, though music heretofore 

Has charm'd me much, (not e'en Occiduus more) 

Love, joy, and peace, make harmony more meet 

For Sabbath evenings, and, perhaps, as sweet. 

Will not tiie sickliest sheep of every flock 
Resort to this example as a rock ; 
There stand, and justify the foul abuse 
Of Sabbath hours with plausible excuse I 
If apostolic gravity be free 
To play the fool on Sundays, why not we ? 
If he the tinkling harpsichord regards 
As inoffensive, what offence in cards ? 
Strike up the fiddles, let us all be gay ! 
Laymen have leave to dance, if parsons play. 

Oh Italy ! thy Sabbaths will be soon 
Our Sabbaths, clos'd with mummery and buffoon. 
Preaching and pranks will share the motley scene : 
Ours parcelled out, as thine have ever been, 
Gods worship and the mountebank between. 
What says the prophet ? Let that day be blest 
With holiness and consecrated rest. 
Pastime and business both it should exclude. 
And bar the door the moment they intrude j 
Nobly distinguished above all the six, 
By deeds in which the world must never mix. 
Hear him again. He calls it a delight, 
A day of luxury, observed aright, 



When the glad soul is made heaven's welcome guest, 
Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast. 
But triflers are engag'd and cannot come ; 
Their answer to the call, is — Not at home, 

Ob, the dear pleasures of the velvet pkin, 
The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again. 
Cards with what rapture, and the polish'd die, 
The yawning chasm of indolence supply ! 
Then to the dance, and make the sober moon 
Witness of joys that shun the sight of noon. 
Blame, cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball, 
The snug close party, or the splendid hall. 
Where night down-stooping from her ebon throne, 
Views constellations brighter than her own. 
^Tis innocent, and harmless, and refin'd ; 
The balm of care, elysium of the mind. 
Innocent 1 Oh, if venerable time. 
Slain at the foot of pleasure, be no crime. 
Then, with his silver beard and magic wand. 
Let Comus rise archbishop of the land ; 
Let him your rubric and your feast prescribe, 
Grand metropolitan of all the tribe. 

Of manners rough, and coarse athletic cast, 
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste, 
RufiUus, exquisitely form'd by rule. 
Not of the moral, but the dancing school, 
Wonders at Clodio's follies, in a tone 
As tragical, as others at his own. 


He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score. 

Then kill a constable, and drink five more ; 

I3ut he can draw a pattern, make a tart. 

And has the ladies' etiquette by heart. 

Go, fool ; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead 

Your cause before a bar you little dread ! 

But know, the law, that bids the drunkard die. 

Is far too just to pass the trifler by. 

Both baby«featur'd, and of infant size, 

View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes. 

Folly and innocence are so alike, 

The difference though essential, fails to strike. 

Yet folly ever has a vacant stare, 

A simpering countenance, and a trifling air ; 

But innocence, sedate, serene, erect. 

Delights us, by engaging our respect. 

Man, nature's guest by invitation sweet, 

Receives from her both appetite and treat ; 

But, if he play the glutton and exceed. 

His benefactress blushes at the deed. 

For nature, nice, as liberal to dispense. 

Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense. 

Daniel ate pulse by choice— example rare ! 

Heaven blessed the youth, and made him fresh and fair. 

Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan, 

Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan ; 

He snuffs, far off, th' anticipated joy ; 

Turtle and venison all his thoughts employ ; 

Prepares for meals as jockies take a sweat, 

Oh, nauseous ! — an emetic for a whet ! 


Will Providence overlook the wasted good ? 
Temperance were no v irtue if he could. 

That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call, 
Are hurtful, is a truth confessed by all. 
And Sonne, that seem to threaten virtue less, 
Still hurtful, in th' abuse, or by th' excess. 

Is man, then, only for his torment plac'd 
The centre of delights he may not taste ? 
Like fabled Tantalus, condemn'd to hear 
The precious stream still purling in his ear. 
Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet curst 
With prohibition, and perpetual thirst ? 
No, wrangler — destitute of shame and sense. 
The precept, that enjoins him abstinence, 
Forbids him none but the licentious joy, 
Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy. 
Remorse, the fatal egg, by pleasure laid 
In every bosom where her nest is made, 
Hatched by the beams of truth, denies him rest. 
And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. 
No pleasure ? Are domicstic comforts dead ? 
Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ? 
Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame. 
Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good 
All these belong to virtue, and all prove [fame ? 

That virtue has a title to your love. 
Have you no touch of pity, that the poor 
I Stand starved at your inhospitable door ? 

proCress of error. 3^ 

Or, if yourself, too scantily supplied, 
Need help, let honest industry provide. 
Earn, if you want ; if you abound, impart : 
These both are pleasures to the feeling heart* 
No pleasure ? Has some sickly eastern waste 
Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast ? 
Can British paradise no scenes afford 
To please her sated and indifferent lord ? 
Are sweet philosophy's enjoyments run 
Quite to the lees ? And has religion none ? 
Brutes, capable, would tell you 'tis a lie, 
And judge you from the kennel and the sty. 
Dehghts like these, ye sensual and profane. 
Ye are bid, beggM, besought to entertain ; 
CalPd to these crystal streams, do ye turn off, 
Obscene, to swill and swallow at a trough ? 
Envy the beast then on whom Heaven bestows 
Your pleasures, with no curses in the close. 

Pleasure, admitted in undue degree. 
Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free. 
^Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice 
Unnerves the moral powers, and mars their use : 
Ambition, avarice, and the lust of fame. 
And woman, lovely woman, does the same. 
The heart, surrendered to the ruling power 
Of some ungovern'd passion every hour, 
Finds, by degrees, the truths that once bore sway, 
And all their deep impressions, wear away. 

VOL. I. D 


So coin grows smooth, in traffic current passM, 

Till Csesar's image is efFacM at last. 

The breach, though small at first, soon opening wide. 

In rushes folly with a full-moon tide. 

Then welcome errors, of whatever size. 

To justify it by a thousand lies. 

As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone, 

And hides the ruin that it feeds upon ; 

So sophistry cleaves close to, and protects 

Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects. 

Mortals, whose pleasures arc their only care. 

First wish to be imposed on, and then are. 

And lest the fulsome artifice should fail, 

Themselves will hide its coarseness v^ath a veil. 

Not more industrious are the just and true. 

To give to virtue what is virtue's due^— 

The praise- of v/isdcm, comeliness, and worth ; 

And call her charms to public notice forth— 

Than vice's mean and disingenuous race 

To hide chc shocking features of her face. 

Her form with dress and lotion they repair ; 

Then kiss their idol, and pronounce her fair* 

The sacred implement I now em.ploy 
Might prove a mischief, or at best a toy ; 
A trifle, if it move but to aniuse : 
But, if to wrong the judgment and abuse, 
Worse than a poniard in the basest hand. 
It itabs at once the morals of a land. 


Ye writers of what none with safety reads, 
Footing it in the dance that fancy leads ; 
Ye novelists, who mar what ye would mend, 
SniveUing and dnvelling folly without end ; 
Whose corresponding misses fill the ream 
With sentimental frippery and dream. 
Caught in a delicate soft silken net, 
By some lewd earl, or rake-hell baronet ; 
Ye pimps, who under virtue's fair pretence 
Steal to the closet of young innocence. 
And teach her, unexperienced yet and green. 
To scribble as you scribbled at fifteen ; 
Who, kindling a combustion of desire, 
With some cold moral think to quench the fire ; 
Though all your engineering proves in vain, 
The dribbling stream ne'er puts it out again : 
Oh that a verse had pov/er, and could command 
Far, far away, these flesh-flies of the land ; 
Who fasten, without mercy, on the fair , 
And suck, and leave a craving maggot there. 
Howe'er disguis'd th* inflammatory tale. 
And eover'd with a fine-spun specious veil ; 
Such writers, and such readers, owe the gust 
And relish of their pleasure all to lust. 

But the muse, eagle-pinionM, has in viev/ 
A quarry more important still than you ; 
Down, down the wind she Gwim.s, and sails away ; 
Now stoops upon it, and nov/ grasps the prey. 

40 PRoeREss er error; 

Petronms ! all the muses weep for thee ; 
But every tear shall scald thy memory : 
The graces, tooj while virtue at their shrine 
Lay bleeding under that soft hand of thine. 
Felt each a mortal stab in her own breast, 
Abhor'd the sacrifice, and curs'd the priest. 
Thou polish'd and high-finish'd foe to truth. 
Gray-beard corrupter of our listening youth. 
To purge and skim away the filth of vice, 
That, so refin'd, it might the more entice, 
Then pour it on the morals of thy son, 
To taint his heart, was worthy of thine oivn / 
Now, while the poison all high life pervades. 
Write, if thou can'st, one letter from the shades ; 
One, and one only, charg'd with deep regret 
That thy worst part, thy principles, live yet ; 
One sad epistle thence may cure mankind 
Of the plague spread by bundles left behind. 

'Tis granted, and no plainer truth appears, 
Our most important are our earhest years ; 
The mind, impressible and soft, with ease 
Imbibes and copies what she hears and sees. 
And, through life's labyrinth holds fast the clue 
That education gives her, false or true. 
Plants rais'd with tenderness are seldom strong ; 
Man's coltish disposition asks the thong ; 
And, without discipline, th@ favorite child. 
Like a neglected forester, runs wild. 
But we, as if good quahties would grow 
Spontaneous, take but little pains to sow; 


We give some Latin, and a smatch of Greek * 
Teach him to fence and figure twice a week ; 
And, having done, we think, the best we can. 
Praise his proficiency, and dub him a man. 

From school to Cam or Isis, and thence home ; 
And thence, with all convenient speed, to Rome, 
With reverend tutor, clad in habit lay, 
To tease for cash, and quarrel with all day ; 
With memorandum»book for every town. 
And every post, and where the chaise broke down j 
His stock, a few French phrases got by heart ; 
With much to learn, but nothing to impart. 
The youth obedient to his sire's commands. 
Sets oiF a wanderer into foreign lands. 
Surpris'd at all they meet, the goshng pair, 
With awkward gait, stretch'd neck, and silly stare, 
Discover huge cathedrals, built with stone. 
And steeples towering high, much like our own ; 
Bat shew peculiar hght by many a grin 
At popish practices observed within. 

Ere long, some bowing, smirking, smart abbe. 
Remarks two loiterers that have lost their way 5 
And, being always prim'd with poluesse 
For men of their appearance and address, 
With much compassion undertakes the task 
'I^o tell them — more than they have wit to ask : 
Points to inscriptions wheresoever they tread. 
Such as, when legible, were never read, 


But being canker'd now and half worn out. 
Craze antiquarian brains with endless doubt ; 
Some headless hero, or some Caesar shows- 
Defective only in his Roman nose ; 
Exhibits elevations, drawings, plans. 
Models of Herculanean pots and pans ; 
And sells them medals, which, if neither rare 
Nor ancient, will be so, preserved with care. 

Strange the recital ! from whatever cause 
His great improvement and new lights he draws. 
The squire, once bashful, is shamefac'd no more. 
But teems with powers he never felt before ; 
Whether increas'd momentum, and the force 
With which from clime to clime he sped his course, 
{ A.S axles sometimes kindle as they go) 
ChaPd him, and brought dull nature to a glow ; 
Or whether clearer skies and softer air, 
That make Italian flowers so sweet and fair. 
Freshening his lazy spirits as he ran. 
Unfolded genially, and spread the man ; 
Returning, he proclaims, by many a grace. 
By shrugs, and strange contortions of his face. 
How much a dunce, that has been sent to roam. 
Excels a dunce that has been kept at home. 

Accomplishments have taken virtue's place, 
And wisdom falls before exterior grace ; 
We slight the precious Jiernal of the stone. 
And toil to polish its rough-coat alone, 


A just deportment, manners grac'd with ease, 

Elegant phrase, and figure form'd to please. 

Are qualities that seem to comprehend 

Whatever parents, guardians, schools, intend ; 

Hence an unfurnish'd and a listless mind. 

Though busy, trifling ; empty, though refin'd ; 

Hence all that interferes, and dares to clash 

With indolence and luxury, is trash ; 

While learning, once the man's exclusive pride. 

Seems verging fast towards the female side. 

Learning itself, received into a mind 

By nature weak, or viciously inclined. 

Serves but to lead philosophers astray, 

Where children would with ease discern the way. 

And, of all arts sagacious dupes invent 

To cheat themselves and gain the world's assent, 

The worst is — scripture warp'd from its intent. 

The carriage bowls along, and all are pleas'd 
If Tom be sober, and the wheels well greas'd ; 
But, if the rogue have gone a cup too far, 
Left out his linch-pin, or forgot his tar, 
It suffers interruption and delay, 
And meets with hinderance in the smoothest way* 
When some hypothesis, absurd and vain. 
Has fill'd with all its fumes a critic's brain. 
The text that sorts not with his darHng whim, 
Though plain to others, is obscure to him. 
The will made subject to a lawless force, 
All is irregular, and out of course ; 



And judgment drunk, and brib'd to lose his way, 
Winks hard, and talks of darkness at noon day. 

A critic on the sacred book should be 
Candid and learn'd, dispassionate and free ; 
Free from the wayward bias bigots feel, 
From fancy's influence, and intemperate zeal : 
But, above all, (or let the wretch refrain, 
Nor touch the page he cannot but profane) 
Free from the domineering power of lust ; 
A lewd interpreter is never just. 

How shall I speak thee, or thy power address. 

Thou god of our idolatry, the press ? 

By thee, religion, liberty and laws, 

Exert their influence, and advance their cause ; 

By thee, worse plagues than Pharaoh's land befel. 

Diffused, make earth the vestibule of hell ; 

Thou fountain, at which drink the good and wise ; 

Thou ever-bubbhng spring of endless lies ; 

Like Eden's dread probationary tree, 

Knowledge of good and evil is from thee. 

No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest 
Till half mankind were like himself possessed. 
Philosophers, who darken and put out 
Eternal truth by everlasting doubt ; 
Church quacks, with passions under no command, 
Who fill the world with doctrines contraband. 
Discoveries of they know not what, confined 
Within no bounds— the blind that lead the blind } 


To Streams of popular opinion drawn, 
Deposit in those shallows all their spawn. 
The wrigghng fry soon fill the creeks around, 
Poisoninor the waters where their swarms abound. 


Scorn'd by the nobler tenants of the flood, 
Minnows and gudgeons gorge th' unwholesome food. 
The propagated myriads spread so fast, 
E'en Leuwenhoeck himself would stand agjiast, 
Employ'd to calculate th^ enormous sum. 
And own his crab-computing powers o'ercome. 
Is this hyperbole ? The world well known, 
Your sober thoughts will hardly find it one. 

Fresh confidence the speculatist takes 
Prom every hair-brain *d proselyte he makes j 
And therefore prints: himself but half deceiv'd^ 
Till others have the soothing tale believ'd. 
Hence comment after comment, spun as fine 
As bloated spiders draw the flimsy hne ; 
Hence the same word, that bids our lusts obey. 
Is misapplied, to sanctify their sway. 
If stubborn Greek refuse to be his friend, 
Hebrew or Syriac shall be forcM to bend 2 
If languages and copies all cry. No— - 
Somebody prov'dit centuries ago. 
Like trout pursued, the critic, in despair. 
Darts to the mud, and finds his safety there. 
Women, whom custom has forbid to fly 
The scholar's pitch, (the scholar best knows why) 
With all the simple and unlettered poor, 
Admire his learning, and almost adore. 


Whoever errs, the priest can ne'er be wrong. 
With such fine words familiar to his tongue. 

Ye ladies ! (for, indifferent in your cause, 
I should deserve to forfeit all applause) 
Whatever shocks, or gives the least offence 
To virtue, delicacy, truth, or sense, 
(Try the criterion, 'tis a faithful guide) 
Nor has, nor ca:i have, scripture on its side. 

None but an author knows an author's cares, 
Or fancy's fondness for the child she bears. 
Committed once into the pubhc arms. 
The baby seems to smile with added charms, 
Like something precious ventured far from shore, 
'Tis valued for the danger's sake the more. 
He views it with complacency supreme. 
Solicits kind attention to his dream ; 
And daily, more enamour'd of the cheat, 
Kneels, and asks Heaven to bless the dear deceit. 
So one, whose story serves at least to show 
Men lov'd their own productions long ago, 
Woo'd an unfeeling statue for his wife, 
Nor rested till the gods had given it life. 
If some mere driveller suck the sugar'd fib. 
One that still needs his leading-string and bib. 
And praise his genius, he is soon repaid 
In praise applied to the same part — his head. 
For 'tis a rule, that holds forever true. 
Grant me discernment, and I grant it you. 


Patient of contradiction, as a child 
AiFable, humble, diffident, and mild ; 
Such was Sir Isaac, and such Boyle and Locke : 
Your blunderer is as sturdy as a rock. 
The creature is so sure to kick and bite, 
A muleteer's the man to set him right. 
First appetite enhsts him truth's sworn foe, 
Then obstinate self-will confirms him so. 
Tell him he wanders ; that his error leads 
To fatal ills ; tbiit though the path he treads 
Be flowery, :i^A he see no cause of fear, 
Death and the pains of hell attend him there | 
In vain ; the slave of arrogance and pride, 
He has no hearing on the prudent side. 
His still refuted quirks he stiU repeats ; 
New rais'd objections with new quibbles meets ; 
Till, sinking in the quicksand he defends. 
He dies disputing, and the contest ends — 
But not the mischiefs : they, still left behind. 
Like thistle seeds are sown by every wind. 

Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill ; 
Bend the straight rule to their own crooked will 5 
And, with a clear and shining lamp supplied. 
First put it out, then take it for a guide. 
Halting on crutches of unequal size ; 
One leg by truth supported, one by lies ; 
They sidle to the goal with awkward pace^ 
Secure of nothing— but to lose the race. 


Faults in the life breed errors in the brain ; 
And these, reciprocally, those again. 
The mind and conduct mutually imprint 
And stamp their image in each other's mint : 
Each, sire and dam of an infernal race, 
Begetting and conceiving all that's base. 

None sends his arrow to the mark in view, 
Whose hand is feeble, or his aim untrue. 
For though, ere yet the shaft is on the wing, 
Or when it first forsakes th' elastic string, 
It err but httle from th' intended line, 
It falls, at last, far wide of his design : 
So he, who seeks a mansion in the sky, 
Must watch his purpose with a steadfast eye ; 
That prize belongs to none but the sincere. 
The least obliquity is fatal here. 

With caution taste the sweet Circean cup : 
He that sips often, at last drinks it up. 
Habits are soon assum'd ; but when we strive 
To strip them off, 'tis being ilay*d alive, 
CalPd to the temple of impure delight, 
He that abstains, and he alone, does right. 
If a wish wander that way, call it home ; 
He cannot long be safe whose wishes roam. 
But, if you pass the threshold, you are caught ; 
Die then, if power Almighty save you not. 
There, hardening by degrees, till double steePd, 
Take leave of nature's God, and God reveaPd ; 


Then laugh at all you trembled at before ; 
And, joining the free-thinker's brutal roar, 
Swallow the two grand nostrums they dispense- 
That scripture lies, and blasphemy is sense. 
If clemency revolted by abuse 
Be damnable, then damn'd without excuse. 

Some dream that they can silence when they will 
The storm of passion, and say, Peace, he still ; 
But, " Thus far and no farther y^ when address'd 
To the wild wave, or wilder human breast, 
Implies authority that never can, 
That never ought to be the lot of man. 

But, muse, forbear ; long flights forebode a fall ; 
Strike on the deep-ton'd chord the sum of all. 

Hear the just law — the judgment of the skies \ 
He that hates truth shall be the dupe of lies ; 
And he that idiU be cheated to the last, 
Delusions, strong as hell, shall bind him fast. 
But, if the wanderer his mistake discern. 
Judge his own ways, and sigh for a return, 
Bewilder'd once, must he bewail his loss 
Forever and forever ? No— the cross ! 
There, and there only, (though the deist rave, 
And atheist, if earth bear so base a slave ; ) 
There, and there only, is the power to save. 
There no delusive hope invites despair ; 
No mockery meets you, no deception, there. 

VOL. I. B 



The spells and charms, that blinded you before. 
All vanish there, and fascinate no more. 

I am no preacher, let this hint suffice — 
The cross, once seen, is death to every vice ; 
Else he that hung there suffered all his pain. 
Bled, groan'd, and agonizM, and died, in vain, 


Peruaniur frutlna. ^Hor, Lib. II. Epist. 1. 

ItuL AN, on the dubious waves of error tossM, 

His ship half foundered and his compass lost, 

Sees, far as human optics may command, 

A sleeping fog, and fancies it dry land : 

Spreads all his canvass, every sinew plies ; 

Pants for't, aims at it, enters it, and dies ! 

Then farewell all self-satisfying schemes, 

His well-built systems, philosophic dreams ; 

Deceitful views of future bliss, farewell 1 

He reads his sentence at the flames of hell. 

Hard lot of man — to toil for the reward 

Of virtue, and yet lose it ! Wherefore hard : — 

He that would win the race must guide his horse 

Obedient to the customs of the course ; 

Else, though unequall'd to the goal he flies, 

A meaner than himself shall gain the prize. 

Grace leads the right way : if you choose the Vv'rons^, 

Take it, and perish ; but restrain your tongue.. 

Charge not, with light sufScient, and left free, 

Your wilful suicide on God's decree. 


53 TRUTH. 

Oh how unlike the complex works of man, 
Heaven's easy, artless, unincumberM, plan ! 
No meretricious graces to beguile, 
No clustering ornaments to clog the pile ; 
From ostentation, as from weakness free. 
It stands like the cerulean arch we see, 
Majestic in its own simplicity. 
Inscrib*d above the portal, from afar 
Conspicuous as the brightness of a star. 
Legible only by the light they give, 
Stand thesoul-quickening words — believe And live ! 
Too many, shockM at what should charm them most,. 
Despise the plain direction, and are lost. 
Heaven on such terms ! (they cry with proud disdain) 
Incredible, impossible, and vain ! — 
Rebel, because *tis easy to obey ; 
And scorn, for its own sake, the gracious way. 
These are the sober, in whose cooler brains 
Some thought of immortality remains ; 
The rest, too busy, or too gay, to wait 
On the sad theme, their everlasting state. 
Sport for a day, and perish in a night ; 
The foam upon the waters not so light. 

Who judg'd the pharisee ? What odious cause 
Expos'd him to the vengeance of the laws ? 
Had he seduc'd a virgin, wrong'd a friend, 
Or stabb'd a man to serve some private end ? 
Was blasphemy his sin ? Or did he stray 
From the strict duties of the sacred day ? 


Sit long and late at the carousing board ? 

(Such were the sins with which he charg*d his Lord.) 

No — the man's morals were exact. What then i 

^Tvvas his ambition to be seen of men ; 

His virtues were his pride ; and that one vice 

Made all his virtues gewgaws of no price ; 

He wore them, as fine trappings, for a show ; 

A praying, synagogue-frequenting, beau. 

The self-applauding bird, the peacock, see- 
Mark what a sumptuous pharisee is he ! 
Meridian sun-beams tempt him to unfold 
His radiant glories ; azure, green and gold : 
He treads as if, some solemn music near. 
His measured step were governed by his ear ; 
And seems to say — Ye meaner fowl, give place ; 
I am all spendour, dignity, and grace ! 

Not so the pheasant on his charms presumes ; 
Though he, too, has a glory in his plumes. 
He, christian-like, retreats with modest mien -j 
To the close copse, or far sequester'd green, > 
And shines, without desiring to be seen, J 
The plea of works, as arrogant and vain, 
Heaven turns from with abhorrence and disdain ; 
Not more affronted by avow'd neglect. 
Than by the mere dissembler's feign'd respect. 
What is all righteousness that men devise ? 
What — ^but a sordid bargain for the skies ? 
But Christ as soon would abdicate his own, 
As Stoop from heaven to sell the proud a throne, 

54f TRUTH. 

His dwelling a recess in some rude rock ; 
Book, beads, and maple-dish, his meagre stock : 
In shirt of hair and weeds of canvass dressM, 
Girt with a bell-rope that the pope has bless'd ; 
Adust with stripes, told out for every crime. 
And sore tormented, long before his time ; 
His prayer preferred to saints that cannot aid ; 
His praise postpon'd and never to be paid ; 
See the sage hermit, by mankind admir'd. 
With all that bigot r)^ adopts inspired, 
Wearing out life in his religious whim, 
Till his religious whimsy wears out him. 
His works, his abstinence, his zeal, allowM, 
You think him humble — God accounts him proud. 
High in demand, though lowly in pretence, 
Of all his conduct this the genuine sense— 
My penitential stripes, my streaming blood, 
Have purchased heaven, and prove my title good. 

Turn Eastward now, and fancy shall apply 
To your weak sight her telescopic eye. 
The bramin kindles on his own bare head 
The sacred fire — self-torturing his trade ; 
His voluntary pains, severe and long, 
Would give a barbarous air to British song j 
No grand inquisitor could worse invent. 
Than he contrives, to suffer, well content. 

Which is the saintlier v/orthy of the two ? 
Past all dispute, yon anchorite, say yo«. 

TRUTH. 3gf: 

Your sentence and mine differ. What's a name ? 

I say the bramin has the fairer claim. 

If sufferings, scripture no where recommends, 

Devis'd by self, to answer selfish ends. 

Give saintship, then all Europe must agree 

Tea starvling hermits suffer less than he. 

The truth is, (if the truth may suit your ear, 
And prejudice have left a passage clear) 
Pride has attained its most luxuriant growth, 
And poison'd every virtue in them both. 
Pride may be pamper'd while the flesh grows lean 5 
Humility may clothe an English dean ; 
That grace was Cowper's — his, confessed by ail- 
Though plac'din golden Durham's second stall. 
Not all the plenty of a bishop's board, 
His palace, and his lacqueys, and " My Lord,*' 
More nourish pride, that condescending vice, 
Than abstinence, and beggary, and lice ; 
It thrives in misery, and abundant grows ; 
In misery fools upon themselves impose. 

But why before us protestants produce 
An Indian mystic, or a French recluse i 
Their sin is plain ; but what have we to fear, 
Reform'd, and well instructed ? You shall hear. 
Yon ancient prude, whose withered features show 
She might be young some forty years ago, 
Her elbows pinion'd close upon her hips, 
Her head erect, her fan upon her lips, 


Her eye-brows arch'd, her eyes both gone astray 
To watch yon amorous couple in their play. 
With bony and unkerchiePd neck, defies 
The rude inclemency of wintry skies, 
And sails, with lappet-head and mincing airs. 
Duly, at chnk of bell, to morning prayers* 
To thrift and parsimony much incHn'd, 
She yet allows herself that boy behind. 
The shivering urchin, bending as he goes. 
With shp-shod heels, and dew-drop at his nose ^ 
His predecessor's coat advanc'^d to wear. 
Which future pages yet are doom'd to share ; 
Carries her bible tuckM beneath his arm. 
And hides his hands, to keep his fingers warnu 

She, half an angel in her own account. 
Doubts not, hereafter, with the saints to mount,. 
Though not a grace appears, on strictest search. 
But that she fasts, and, iteniy g.oes to church. 
Conscious of age, she recollects her youth. 
And tells, not always with an eye to truth. 
Who spann'd her waist, and who, where'er he came,. 
ScrawPd upon glass Miss Bridget's lovely name j 
Who stole her slipper, fiU'd it with tokay, 
I' And drank the little bumber every day. 
Of temper as envenom'd as an asp ; 
Censorious, and her every word a wasp ; 
In faithful memory she records the crimes, 
Or real, or fictitious, of the times ; 
Laughs at the reputations she has torn. 
And holds them, dangling at arm's length; in scoru* 

TRUTH. 57 

Such are tlie fruits of sanctimonious pride. 
Of malice fed while flesh is mortified : 
Take, Madam, the reward of all your prayers, 
Where hermits and where bramins meet with theirs | 
Your portion is with them. — Nay, never frown ; 
But, if you please, some fathoms lower down. 

Artist, attend ! your brushes and your paint- 
Produce them — take a chair^ — now draw a saint. 
Oh, sorrowful and sad ! the streaming tears 
Channel her cheeks — a Niobe appears ! 
Is this a saint ? Throw tints and all away — • 
True piety is cheerful as the day ; 
Will weep, indeed, and heave a pitying groan 
For others' woes, but smiles upon her own. 

What purpose has the King of saints in view ? 
Why falls the gospel like a gracious dew i 
To call up plenty from the teeming earth, 
Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth ? 
Is it that Adam's offspring may be sav'd 
From servile fear, or be the more enslav'd ? 
To loose the links that galPd mankind before, 
Or bind them faster on, and add still more ? 
The freeborn christian has no chains to prove ; 
Or, if a chain, the golden one of love : 
No fear attends to quench his glowing fires, 
What fear he feels his gratitude inspires. 
Shall he, for such deliverance, freely wrought, 
Recompense ill ? He trembles at the thought. 


His Master's interest and his own, combin'd. 
Prompt every movement of his heart and mind : 
Thought, word, and deed, his Hberty evince j 
His freedom is the freedom of a prince. 

Man's obhgations infinite, of course 
His hfe should prove that he perceives their force ; 
His utmost he can render is but small — 
The principle and motive all in all. 
You have tvt^o servants — Tom, an arch, sly rogue, 
From, top to toe the Geta now in vogue, 
Genteel in figure, easy in address, 
Moves without noise, and swift as an express. 
Reports a message with a pleasing grace, 
Expert in all the duties of his place : 
Say, on what hinge does his obedience move ? 
Has he a world of gratitude and love ? 
No, not a spark — 'tis all mere sharper^ s play ; 
He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay ; 
Reduce his wages, or get rid of her, 
Tom quits you with — Your most obedient, Sir, 

The dinner servM, Charles takes his usual stand, 
Watches your eye, anticipates comm.and ; 
Sighs, if, perhaps, your appetite should fail ; 
And, if he but suspects a frown, turns pale ; 
Consults, all day, your interest and your ease, 
Richly rewarded, if he can but please ; 
And, proud to make his firm attachment knovTp, 
To save your life, would nobly risk his own. 



Now which stands highest in your serious thought ? 
Charles, without doubt, say you — and so he ought ; 
One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds, 
Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds. 

Thus Heaven approves, as honest and sincere, 
The work of generous love and filial fear ; 
But, with averted eyes, th' omniscient Judge 
Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge. 
Where dwell these matchless saints ? old Curio cries. 
Even at your side, Sir, and before your eyes. 
The favoured fsw — th' enthusiasts you despise. 
And pleas 'd at heart, because, on holy ground 
Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found, 
Reproach a people with his single fall, 
And cast his filthy raiment at them all. 
Attend ! — an apt simihtude shall show 
Whence springs the conduct that offends you so* 

See where it smokes along the sounding plain, 
Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain, 
Peal upon peal redoubling all around, 
Shakes it again, and faster, to the ground ; 
Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play, 
Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away. 
Ere yet it came, the traveller urg'd his steed. 
And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed ; 
Now, drench'd throughout, and hopekss of his case, 
He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace. 
Suppose, unlook'd-for in a scene so rude, 
Long hid by interposing hill or wood. 


60 TRUTHf. 

Some mansion, neat and elegantly dressM, 
By some kind hospitable heart possess'd, 
Offer him warmth, security, and rest ; 
Think with what pleasure, safe, and at his ease, 
He hears the tempest howling in the trees ; 
What glowing thanks his lips and heart employ, 
While danger past is turned to present joy. 
So fares it with the sinner, when he feels 
A growing dread of vengeance at his heels : 
His conscience, hke a glassy lake before, 
Lash'd into foaming waves, begins to roar ; 
The law grown clamorous, though silent long, 
Arraigns him — charges him with every wrong- 
Asserts the rights of his offended Lord ; 
And death, or restitution, is the word : 
The last impossible, he fears the first, 
And, having well deserv'd, expects the worst. 
Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home ; 
Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come ! 
Crush me, ye rocks ; ye falling mountains, hide 
Or bury me in ocean's angry tide.— 
The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes 
I dare not — And you need not, God replies ; 
The remedy you want I freely give : 
The book shall teach you— read, believe, and live ! 
'Tis done — the raging storm is heard no more, 
Mercy receives him on her peaceful shore ; 
And justice, g uardian of the dread command, 
Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand. 


A soul, redeem'd, demands a life of praise ; 
Hence the complexion of his future days. 
Hence a demeanour holy and unspeck'd, 
And the world's hatred, as its sure effect. 

Some lead a life unblameable and just, 
Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust ; 
They never sin— or, if (as all offend) 
Some trivial slips their daily walk attend, 
The poor are near at hand, the charge is small, 
A slight gratuity atones for all ! 
For, though the pope has lost his interest here^ 
And pardons are not sold as once they were. 
No papist more desirous ta compound, 
Than some grave sinners upon English ground. 
That plea refuted, other quirks they seek— 
Mercy is infinite, and man is weak ; 
The future shall obliterate the past, 
And heaven, no doubt, shall be their home at last. 

Come, then — a still, small whisper in your ear— 
He has no hope who never had a fear ; 
And he that never doubted of his state, 
He may, perhaps — perhaps he may — too late. 

The path to bliss abounds with many a snare ; 
Learning is one, and wit, however rare. 
The Frenchman, first in literary fame, 
(Mention him, if you please. Voltaire ? — -The same.) 
With spirit^ genius, eloquence,, supplied,. 
Liv'd long, wrote much, laugh'd heartly, and died, 

VOL. I. F 

62 TRUTH. 

The scripture was liIs jest book, whence he drew 
Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew. 
An infidel in health, but what when sick ? 
Oh — then a text would touch him at the quick. 
View him at Paris, in his last career : 
Surrounding throngs the demi-god revere ; 
Exalted on his pedestal of pride, 
And fum'd with frankincense on every side, 
He begs their flattery with his latest breath ; 
And smother'd in't at last, is prais'd to death ! 

Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door. 
Pillow and bobbins all her little store ; 
Content, though mean ; and cheerful, if not gay ; 
Shuffling her threads about the livelong day. 
Just earns a scanty pittance ; and at night 
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light : 
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit. 
Has little understanding, and no v^at % 
Receives no praise ; but, though her lot be such, 
(Toilsome and indigent) she renders much j 
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true— 
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; 
And in that charter reads, with sparkling eyes, 
Her title to a treasure in the skies. 

Oh, happy peasant ! Oh unhappy bard ! 
His the mere tinsel, her's the rich reward ; 
He prais'd, perhaps, for ages yet to come ; 
She never heard of half a mile from home ; 

/' 6g Vo/ /. 

y/v/ ^^^//^u^j^'r, u//w U'Cat'CJ a/ /irr au/?t co<>v/' 


TRUTH. 63 

He, lost in errors, his vain heart prefers ; 
She, safe in the simphcity of her's. 

Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound 
In science, win one inch of heavenly ground. 
And, is it not a mortifying thought, 
The poor should gain it, and the rich should not ? 
No — the voluptuaries, who ne'er forget 
One pleasure lost, lose heaven without regret ; 
Regret would rouse them, and give birth to prayer ; 
Prayer would add faith, and faith would fix them there. 

Not that the Former of us all in this. 
Or aught he does, is governed by caprice ; 
The supposition is replete with sin. 
And bears the brand of blasphemy burnt in. 
Not so — the silver trumpet's heavenly call 
Sounds for the poor, but sounds ahke for all : 
Kings are invited ; and, would kings obey, 
No slaves on earth more welcome were than they : 
But royalty, nobihty, and state, 
Are such a dead preponderating weight. 
That endless bliss, (how strange soe'er it seem) 
In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam. 
*Tis open, and ye cannot enter — why ? 
Because ye will not, Conyers would reply— 
And he says much that many may dispute 
And cavil at with ease, but none refute. 
Oh, bless'd effect of penury and want, 
The seed sown there, how vigourous is the plant ! 

64 TRUTH. 

No soil like poverty for growth divine. 
As leanest land supplies the richest wine. 
Earth gives too little, giving only bread. 
To nourish pride, or turn the weakest head : 
To them the sounding jargon of the schools 
Seems what it is — a cap and bells for fools : 
The light they walk by, kindled from above. 
Shows them the shortest way to life and love : 
They, strangers to the controversial held, 
"Where deists, always foil'd, yet scorn to yield. 
And never check'd by what impedes the wise, 
Bcheve, rush forward, and possess the prize. 

"Euvj, ye great, the dull unletter'd small t 
Ye have much cause for envy — but not all. 
We boast some rich ones whom the gospel sways ; 
And one who wears a coronet, and prays ; 
Like gleanings of an olive tree, they show 
Here and there one upon the topmost bough. 

How readily, upon the gospel plan. 
That question has its answer — What is man ? 
Sinful and weak, in every sense a wretch ; 
An instrument, whose chords, upon the stretch. 
And strain'd to the last screw that he can bear. 
Yield only discord in his Maker's ear. 
Once the blest residence of truth divine. 
Glorious as Solyma's interior shrine, < 

Where, in his own oracular abode, 
Dwelt visibly the light-creating God ; 


But made long since, like Babylon of old, 
A den of mischiefs never to be told : 
And she, once mistress of the realms around. 
Now scattered wide, and no where to be found, 
As soon shall rise and re-ascend the throne. 
By native power and energy her own. 
As nature, at her own peculiar cost, 
Restore to man the glories he has lost. 
Go — bid the winter cease to chill the year ; 
Replace the wandering comet in his sphere ; 
Then boast (but wait for that unhop'd for hour) 
The self-restoring arm of human power, ' 
But what is man in his own proud esteem ? 
Hear him — himself the poet and the theme : 
A monarch, cloth'd with majesty and awe ; 
His mind his kingdom, and his will his law ; 
Grace in his mien, and glory in his eyes, 
Supreme on earth, and worthy of the skies. 
Strength in his heart, dominion in his nod. 
And, thunderbolts excepted, quite a God ! 

So sings he, charm'dwith his own mind andform^ 
The song magnificent — the theme a worm ! 
Himself so much the source of his delight, 
His Maker has no beauty in his sight. 
See where he sits, contemplative and fix'd. 
Pleasure and wonder in his features mix'd ; 
His passions tamM, and ^11 at his controul, 
How perfect the composure of his soul I 


Complacency has breath'd a gentle gale 
O'er all his thoughts, and swellM his easy sail : 
His books well trimm'd, and in the gayest style^ 
Like regimented coxcombs, rank and file, 
Adorn his intellects as well as shelves, 
And teach him notions splendid as themselves ; 
The Bible only stands neglected there — 
Though that of all most worthy of his care ; 
And, like an infant, troublesome awake. 
Is left to sleep, for peace and quiet sake. 

\Vliat shall the man deserve of human kind. 
Whose happy skill and industry, combined, 
Shall prove (what argument could never yet) 
The Bible an imposture and a cheat i 
The praises of the libertine, profess'd 
The worst of men, and curses of the best. 
Where fhould the hving, weeping o'er his woes ; 
The dying, trembling at the awful close ; 
Where the betray'd, forsaken, and oppress^, 
The thousands whom the world forbids to rest r 
Where should they find, (those comforts at an end 
The scripture yields) or hope to find, a friend ?. 
Sorrow might muse herself to madness then ; 
And, seeking exile from the sight of men, 
Bury herself in solitude profound. 
Grow frantic with her pangs, and bite the grounds 
Thus often unbelief, grown sick of life, 
Flies to the tempting pool, or felon knife. 
The jury meet, the coroner is short, 
And lunacy the verdict of the cgurt. 

TRUTH* 07 

Reverse the sentence, let the truth be knovvn^ 

Such lunacy is ignorance alone. 

They knew not, what some bishops may not knowj 

That scripture is the only cure of woe. 

That fieldof promise, how it flings abroad 

Its odour o'er the Christian's thorny road I 

The soul, reposing on assur'd relief. 

Feels herself happy amidst all her grief. 

Forgets her labour as she toils along^ 

Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song. 

But the same word, that, like the polish'd share> 
Ploughs up the roots of a believer's care. 
Kills, too, the flowery weeds, where'er they grow, 
That bind the sinner's Bacchanalian brow. 
O that unwelcome voice of heavenly love, 
Sad messenger of mercy from above I 
How does it grate upon his thankl'ess ear, 
Crippling his pleasures with the cramp of fear I 
His will and judgment at continual strife, 
That civil war embitters all his hfe : 
In vain he points his powers against the skies, 
In vain he closes or averts his eyes. 
Truth will intrude — she bids him yet beware ; 
And shakes the sceptic in the scorner's chair. 

Though various foes against the truth combine^ 
Pride, above all, opposes her design ; 
Pride, of a growth superior to the rest. 
The subtkst serpent with the loftieot crest> 


Swells at the thought, and, kindling into rage, 
Would hiss the cherub mercy from the stage. 

And is the soul, indeed, so lost ? — ^she cries | 
Fallen from her glory, and too weak to rise i 
Torpid and dull, beneath a frozen zone, 
Has she no spark that may be deem'd her own i 
Grant her indebted to what zealots call 
Grace undeserv'd — yet, surely, not for aU i 
Some beams of rectitude she yet displays, 
Some love of virtue, and some power to praise ; 
Can Hft herself above corporeal things, 
And, soaring on her own unbonowed wings. 
Possess herself of all that's good or true. 
Assert the skies, and vindicate her due. 
Past indiscretion is a venial crime ; 
And, if the youth, unmellow'd yet by time, 
Bore on his branch, luxuriant then and rude. 
Fruits of a blighted size, austere and crude, 
Maturer years shall happier stores produce, 
And meUorate the well concocted juice. 
Then, conscious of her meritorious zeal, 
To justice she may make her bold appeal ; 
And leave to mercy, with a tranquil mind. 
The worthless and unfruitful of mankind. 
Hear, then, how mercy, slighted and defied. 
Retorts th* affront against the crown of pride* 

Perish the virtue, as it ought, abhorr'd. 
And the fool with it, who insults bis Lord. 

TRtJTH. 69 

Th' atonement a Redeemer's love has wrought 
Is not for you — the righteous need it not, 
Seest thou yon harlot, wooing all she meets, 
The worn-out nuisance of the public streets ; 
Herself, from morn to night, from night to morn> 
Her own abhorrence, and as much your scorn ! 
The gracious shower, unlimited and free, 
Shall fall on her, v/hen Heaven denies it thee. 
Of all that wisdom dictates, this the drift- 
That man is dead in sin, and life a gift. 

Is virtue, then, unless of christian growth. 
Mere fallacy, or foohshness, or both ? 
Ten thousand sages lost in endless woe. 
For ignorance of what they could not know ? 
That speech betrays at once a bigot's tongue- 
Charge not a God with such outrageous wrong I 
Truly, not I — the partial hght men have. 
My creed persuades me, well employed, may save ; 
While he that scorns the noon-day beam, peiTerse, 
Shall find the blessing, unimprov'd, a curse. 
Let heathen worthies, whose exalted mind 
Left sensuality and dross behind, 
Possess, for me, their undisputed lot, 
And take, unenvied, the reward they sought. 
But still, in virtue of a Saviour's plea. 
Not bhnd by choice, but destin'd not to see. 
Their fortitude and wisdom were a flame 
Celestial, though they knew not whence it came, 
Deriv'd from the same source of light and grace 
That guides the christian in his swifter race. 

Their judge was conscience, and her rule their law : 

That rule, pursued with reverence and with awe, 

Led them, however faltering, faint and slow, 

From what they knew to what they wish'd to know. 

But let not him, that shares a brighter day, 

Traduce the splendour of a noon-tide ray. 

Prefer the twilight of a darker time, 

And deem his base stupidity no crime ; 

The wretch, who slights the bounty of the skies. 

And sinks, while favour'd with the means to rise, 

Shall find them rated at their full amount. 

The good he scorn'd all carried to account. 

Marshalling all his terrors as he came ; 
Thunder, and earthquake, and devouring flame j 
From Sinai's top Jehovah gave the law- 
Life for obedience — death for every flaw. 
When the great Sovereign would his will expresSi 
He gives a perfect rule ; what can he less ? 
And guards it with a sanction as severe 
As vengeance can inflict, or sinners fear : 
Else his own glorious rights he would disclaim, 
And man might safely trifle with his name. 
He bids him glow with unremitting love 
To all on earth, and to himself above ; 
Condemns th' injurious deed, the slanderous tongue, 
The thought that meditates a brother's wrong : 
Brings not alone the more conspicuous part-— 
His conduct — to the test, but tries his heart. 

Hark ! universal nature shook and groan'd, 
'Twas the last trumpet— see the Judge enthroned ; 

TRUTH. 71 

Rouse all your courage at your utmost need ; 
Now summon every virtue — stand, and plead. 
What ! silent ? Is your boasting heard no more ? 
That self-renouncing wisdom, learn'd before, 
Had shed immortal glories on your brow, 
That all your virtues cannot purchase now. 

All joy to the believer ! He can speak— 
Trembling, yet happy ; confident, yet meek. 

Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot? 
And cut up all my follies by the root, 
I never trusted in an arm but thine, 
Nor hop'd, but in thy righteousness divine : 
My prayers and alms, imperfect and defil'd, 
Were but the feeble efforts of a child ; 
Howe'er performed, it was their brightest part, 
That they proceeded from a grateful heart : 
Cleans'd in thine own all-purifying blood. 
Forgive their evil, and accept their good. 
I cast them at thy feet — my only plea 
Is what it was — dependence upon thee : 
While struggling in the vale of tears below, 
That never fail'd, nor shall it fail me now. 

Angelic gratulatlons rend the skies : -| 

Pride falls unpitied, never more to rise ; V 

Humility is crowned ; and faith receives the prize. 3 


Tantane, tarn patlensy nulla certamine tcUt 
Dona sines P ViRG. 


HY weeps the muse for England ? What appears 
In England's case to move the muse to tears ? 
From side to side of her delightful isle 
Is she not cloth'd with a perpetual smile ? 
Can nature add a charm, or art confer 
A new-found luxury, not seen in her ? 
Where under heaven, is pleasure more pursued ? 
Or where does cold reflection less intrude ? 
Her fields a rich expanse of wavy corn, 
Pour'd out from plenty's overflowing horn ; 
Ambrosial gardens, in which art supplies 
The fervour and the force of Indian skies ; 
Her peaceful shores, where busy commerce waits 
To .pour his golden tide through all her gates ; 
Whom fiery suns, that scorch the russet spice 
Of eastern groves, and oceans floor'd with ice, 
Forbid, in vain, to push his daring way 
To darker climes, or climes of brighter day ; 
Whom the winds waft where'er the billows roll, 
From the world's girdle to the frozen pole ; 


The chariots, bounding on her wheel- worn streets 5 
Her vaults below, where every vintage meets ; 
Her theatres, her revels, and her sports ; 
The scenes to which not youth alone resorts, 
But age, in spite of weakness and of pain, 
Still haunts, in hope to dream of youth again ; 
AH speak her happy, let the muse look round 
From east to west, no sorrow can be found ; 
Or only what, in cottages confin'd, 
Sighs unregarded to the passing wind. 
Then wherefore weep for England ? What appears 
In England's case to move the muse to tears i 

The prophet wept for Israel ; wish'd his eyes 
Were fountains fed with infinite supplies : 
For Israel dealt in robbery and Wrong ; 
There were the scorner's and the slanderer's tongue | 
Oaths, us'd as playthings or convenient tools, 
As interest bias'd knaves, or fashion fools ; 
Adultery, neighing at his neighbour's door ; 
Oppression, labouring hard to grind the poor ; 
The partial balance, and deceitful weight ; 
The treacherous smile, a mask for secret hate ; 
Hypocrisy, formality in prayer. 
And the dull service of the lip, were there. 
Her women, insolent and self-caress'd, 
By vanity's unwearied linger dress'd. 
Forgot the blush that virgin fears impart 
To modest cheeks, and borrow'd one from art | 
Were just such trifles, without woith or use, 
As silly pride and idleness produce ; 

VOL. 1. G 


CurPd, scented, furbelowM, and flouncM around. 
With feet too delicate to touch the ground, 
They stretchM the neck, and roll'd the wanton eye; 
And sigh'd for every fool that flutterM by. 

He saw his people slaves to every lust, 
Lewd, avaricious, arrogant, unjust ; 
He heard the wheels of an avenging God 
Groan heavily along the distant road ; 
Saw Babylon set wide her two-leav'd brass 
To let the military deluge pass ! 
Jerusalem a prey, her glory soil'd. 
Her princes captive, and her treasure spoil'd ; 
Wept till all Israel heard his bitter cry ; 
Stamp'd v*'ith his foot ; and smote upon his thigh : 
But wept, and stampM, and smote his thigh in- vain- 
Pleasure is deaf w^hen told of future pain, 
And sounds prophetic are too rough to suit 
Ears long accustom'd to the pleasing lute— 
They scorn'd his inspiration and his theme : 
Pronounc'd him frantic, and his fears a dream ; 
With self-indulgence wing'd the fleeting hours, 
Till the foe found them, and down fell the towers. 

Long time Assyria bound them in her chain ; 
Till penitence had purgM the public stain, 
And Cyrus, with relenting pity mov'd. 
Returned tliem happy to the land they lov'd : 
There, proof against prosperity, awhile 
They stood the test of her ensnaring smile ; 


And had the grace, in scenes of peace, to show 
The virtue they had learned in scenes of woe. 
But man is frail, and can but ill sustain 
A long immunity from grief and pain ; 
And, after all the joys that plenty leadr>, 
With tip-toe step vice silently succeeds. 

When he that rul'd them with a shepherd's rod, 
In form a man, in dignity a God, 
Came, not expected in that humble guise, 
To sift and search them with unerring eyes, 
He found, conceaPd beneath a fair outside. 
The filth of rottenness and worm of pride ; 
Their piety a system of deceit, 
Scripture employ'd to sanctify the cheat ; 
The pharisee the dupe of his own art, 
Self-idoliz'd, and yet a knave at heart ! 

When nations are to perish in their sins, 
'Tis in the church the leprosy begins. 
The priest, whose office is, with zeal sincere, 
To watch the fountain and preserve it clear, 
Carelessly nods and sleeps upon the brink, 
While others poison what the flock must drink ; 
Or, waking at the call of lust alone, 
Infuses lies and errors of his own. 
His unsuspecting sheep believe it pure; 
And, tainted by the very means of cure. 
Catch from each other a co^itaglous spot, 
The foul forerunner of a ;^encral rot. 


Then truth 13 hush'd, that heresy may preach ;. 
Arul all is trash that reason cannot leach : 
Then God's own image, on the soul impress *d> 
Becomes a mockery and a standing jest ; 
And faith; the root whence only can arise 
The graces of a life that wins the skies. 
Loses at once all value and esteem, 
Proiiounc'd by grey beards — a pernicious dream : 
Then ceremony leads her bigots forth, 
Prepar'd to fight for shadaws of no worth ; 
While truths, on which eternal things depend. 
Find not, or hardly find, a single friend : 
As soldiers watch the signal of command, 
They learn to bow, to kneel, to sit, to stand ; 
Happy to fill religion's vacant place 
With hollow form, and gesture, and grimace. 

Such, when the teacher of his church was there> 
People and priest the sons of Israel were y 
Stiff in the letter, lax in the design 
And import, of their oracles divine j. 
Their learning legendary, false, absurd, 
And yet exalted above God's own word ; 
They drew a curse from an intended good. 
Puff 'd up wiih gifts they never understood.. 
He judg'd them with as terrible a frown, 
As if not love, but wrath, had brought him down ; 
I Yet he was gentle as soft summer airs ; 
Had grace for others* sins, but none for their'Se 
Through all he sjoke a noble plainness ran— - 
Rhetoric is artifice, the work of man ^ 


And tricks and turns, that fancy may devise, 
Are far too mean for Him that rules the skies. 
Th' astonish 'd vulgar trembled while he tore 
The mask from faces never seen before : 
He stripp'd th' impostors in the noon-day sun ; 
Shew'd that they foUow'd all they seem'd to shun ; 
Their prayers made public, their -excesses kept 
As private as the chambers vi^here they slept ; 
The temple and its holy rites profan'd 
By mummeries he that dwelt in it disdain'd ; 
Uplifted hands, that at convenient times 
Could act extortion and the worst of crimes, 
Wash'd with a neatness scrupulously nice, 
And free from every taint but that of vice. 
Judgment, however tardy, mends her pace 
When obstinacy oace has conquer'd grace. 
They saw distemper heaPd, and life restor'd. 
In answer to the fiat of his word ; 
Confess'd the wonder, and, with daring tongue, 
Blasphem'd th' authority from which it sprung. 
They knew, by sure prognostics seen on high, 
The future tone and temper of the sky ; 
But, grave dissemblers ! could not understand. 
That sin, let loose, speaks punishment at hand. 

Ask now of history's authentic page, 
And call up evidence from every age ; 
Display with busy and laborious hand 
The blessings of the most indebted land ; 
What nation will you find, whose annals prove 
^0 rich an interest in Almighty love ? 


Where dwell they now, where dwelt in ancient day^ 
A people planted, water'd, blest, as they ? 
Let Egypt's plagues and Canaan's woes proclaim 
The favours pour'd upon the Jewish name— 
Their freedom, purchased for them at the cost 
Of all their hard oppressors valued most ; 
Their title to a country not their own 
Made sure by prodigies till then unknown ; 
For them, the states they left, made waste and void ; 
For them, the states to which they w^ent, destroy'd $ 
A cloud to measure out their march by day, 
By night a fire to cheer the gloomy way ; 
That moving signal summoning, when best, 
Their host to move ; and when it stay'd, to rest. 
For them the rocks dissolv'd into a flood, 
The dews condens'd into angelic food ; 
Their very garments sacred — old, yet new, 
And time forbid to touch them as he fiew ; 
Streams, swell'd above the bank, enjoin'd to stand. 
While they pass'd through to their appointed land ; 
Their leader arm*d with meekness, zeal and love. 
And gracM with clear credentials from above ; 
Themselves securM beneath th* Almighty wing j 
Their God their captain,* lawgiver, and king ; 
Crown'd with a thousand victories, and at last 
Lords of the conquered soil, there rooted fast, 
In peace possessing what they won by war. 
Their name far published, and rever'd as far ; 
Where ^^^I1 you find a race like theirs, endow 'd 
With all that men c*er wishM, or Keaven bestow'd J 

* Viae Jojihua v. 14. 


They, and they only, amongst all mankind, 
Received the transcript of th' Eternal Mind ; 
Were trusted with his own engraven laws. 
And constituted guardians of his cause ; 
Theirs were the prophets, theirs the priestly call, 
And theirs, by birth, the Saviour of us all. 
In vain the nations, that had seen them rise 
With fierce and envious, yet admiring eyes, 
Had sought to crush them, guarded as they were 
By power divine, and skill that could not err. 
Had they maintained allegiance firm and sure, 
And kept the faith immaculate and pure. 
Then the proud eagles of all-conquering Rome 
Had found one city not to be o'ercome ; 
And the twelve standards of the tribes unfurPd 
Had bid defiance to the warring v/orld. 
But grace, abus'd, brings forth the foulest deeds. 
As richest soil the most luxuriant weeds. 
Cur'd of the golden calves, their fathers' sin. 
They set up self, that idol god within ; 
View'd a Deliverer with disdain and hate,^ 
Who left them still a tributary state ; 
Seiz'd fast his hand, held out to set them free 
From a worse yoke, and naii'd it to the tree : 
There was the consummation and the crown, 
The flower of Israel's infamy full blown : 
Thence date their sad declension and their fall ; 
Their woes, not yet repeaPd — tliencc date them all I 

Thus fell the best instructed in her day, 
Aud the most favour'd land, look where we may. 


Philosophy, indeed, on Grecian eyes 

Had pour'd the day, and clear'd the Roman skies f 

In other climes, perhaps, creative art, 

With power surpassing theirs, perform'd her part ; 

Might give more hfe to marble, or might fill 

The glowing tablets with a juster skill, 

MigVit shine in fable, and grace idle themes^ 

With all th' embroidery of poetic dreams : 

'Twas theirs alone to dive into the plan. 

That truth and mercy had reveal' d to man ; 

And, while the world beside, that plan unknown^ 

Deified useless wood or senseless stone, 

They breath 'd in faith their well-directed prayers, 

And the true God — the God of truth — was theirs.- 

Their glory faded, and their race dispersed ; 
I The last of nations now, though once the first ; 
They warn and teach the proudest, would they learn. 
Keep wisdom, or meet vengeance in your turn ; 
If we escaped not, if Heaven spar'd not us^ 
Peel'd, scatter' d, and exterminated, thus j 
If vice received her retribution due 
When we were visited, what hope for you ? 
When God arises, with an awful frown, 
To punish lust, or pluck presumption down ; 
When gifts perverted, or not duly priz'd, 
Pleasure o'ervalued, and his grace despised, 
Provoke the vengeance of his righteous hand 
To pour down wrath upon a thankless land ; 
He will be found impartially severe ; 
Too just to wink, or speak the guilty clear^ 


Ob, Israel, o£ all nations most undone ! 
Thy diadem displaced, thy sceptre gone ; 
Thy temple, once thy glory, fall'n and ras'd, 
And thou a worshipper e'en where thou mayest 5 
Thy services, once holy, without spot, 
Mere shadows now, their ancient pomp forgot ;■ 
Thy Levites, once a consecrated host, 
No longer Levites, and their lineage lost, 
And thou thyself o'er every country sown, 
With none on earth that thou canst call thine own } 
Cry aloud, thou that sittest in the dust. 
Cry to the proud, the cruel, and unjust ; 
Knock at the gates of nations, rouse their fears ; 
Say wrath is coming, and the storm appears ; 
But raise the shrillest cry in British ears. 

'ears ; 1 

What ails thee, restless as the waves that roar, . 
And fling their foam against thy chalky shore ? 
Mistress, at least while Providence shall please, 
And trident-bearing queen of the wide seas — 
Why, having kept good faith, and often shown 
Friendship and truth to others, find'st thou none ? 
Thou that hast set the persecuted free, 
None interposes now to succour thee. 
Countries indebted to thy power, that shine 
With light deriv'd from thee, would smother thine 
Thy very children watch for thy disgrace — 
A lawless brood ! and curse thee to thy face. 
Thy rulers load thy credit, year by year, 
WitU sums Peruvian mines could never clear ^ 


As if, like arches built with skilful hand, 

The more 'twere press'd the firmer it would stand. 

The cry in all thy ships is still the same — 
Speed us away to battle and to fame. 
Thy mariners explore the wild expanse, 
Impatient to descry the flags of France : 
But, though they fight as thine have ever fought, 
Return, asham'd, without the wreaths they sought. 
Thy senate is a scene of civil jar, 
Chaos of contrarieties at war ; 
Where sharp and solid, phlegmatic and light. 
Discordant atoms meet, ferment, and fight ; 
Where obstinacy takes his sturdy stand. 
To disconcert what pohcy has plann'd ; 
Where policy is busied all night long 
In setting right what faction has set wrong } 
Where flails of oratory thresh the floor, 
That yields them chaff and dust, and nothing more* 
Thy rack'd inhabitants repine, complain, 
TaxM till the brow of labour sweats in vain ; 
War lays a burthen on the reeling state. 
And peace does nothing to relieve the weight ; 
Successive loads succeeding broils impose, 
And sighing miUions prophesy the close. 

Is adverse providence, when ponderM well. 
So dimly writ, or difficult to spell. 
Thou canst not read, with readiness and ease, 
Providence adverse in events like these ? 


Know, then, that heavenly wisdom, on this ball. 

Creates, gives birth to, guides, consummates, all j 

That, w^hile laborious and quick-thoughted man 

SnufFs up the praise of what he seems to plan, 

He first conceives, then perfects his design, 

As a mere instrument in hands divine. 

Bhnd to the working of that secret power ^ 

That balances the wings of every hour, 

The busy trifler dreams himself alone, 

Frames many a purpose, and God works his own. 

States thrive or wither, as moons wax and wane, 

Even as his will and his decrees ordain. 

While honour, virtue, piety, bear sway, 

They flourish ; and, as these decline, decay. 

In just resentment of his injur'd laws, 

He pours contempt on them, and on their cause 5 

Strikes the rough thread of error right athwart 

The web of every scheme they have at heart ; 

Bids rottenness invade and bring to dust 

The pillars of support, in which they trust, 

And do his errand of disgrace and shame 

On the chief strength and glory of the frame. 

None ever yet impeded what he wrought ; 

None bars him out from liis most secret thought : 

Darkness itself before his eye is light, 

And hell's close mischief naked in his sight. 

Stand now, and judge thyself. — Hast thou incurr'd 
His anger, who can waste thee with a word, 
Who poises and proportions sea and land, 
Weighing them in the hollow of his hand, 


And in whose awful sight all nations seem 
As grasshoppers, as dust, a drop, a dream ? 
Hast thou (a sacrilege his soul abhors) 
Claim'd all the glory of thy prosperous wars ? 
Proud of thy fleets and armies, stolen the gem 
Of his just praise, to lavish it on them ? 
Hast thou not learn' d what thou art often told, 
A truth still sacred, and believ'd of old, 
That no success attends on spears and swords 
Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord's ? 
That courage is his creature, and dismay 
The post that, at his bidding, speeds away, 
Ghastly in feature, and his stammering tongue 
With doleful humour and sad presage hung, 
To quell the valour of the stoutest heart. 
And teach the combatant a woman's part ? 
That he bids thousands fly when none pursue, 
Saves as he will, by many or by few, 
And claims forever, as his royal right, 
Th' event and sure decision of the fight ? 

Hast tliou, though suckled at fair freedom's breast, 
Exported slavery to the conquerM east, 
PulPd xlown the tyrants India servM with dread, 
And rais'd thyself, a greater, in their stead ? 
Gone thither arm'd and hungr\', returned full, 
Fed from the richest veins of the Mogul, 
A despot big with power obtain' d by wealth, 
And that obtain 'd by i-apine and by stealth ? 
With A siatic vices stor'd thy mind. 
But left their virtues and thine own behind ; 


And, having truck'd thy soul, brought home the fee, 
To tempt the poor to sell himself to thee ? 

Hast thou by statute shov'd from its design 
The Saviour's feast, his own blest bread and wine, 
And made the symbols of atoning grace 
An oiHce-key, a pick-lock to a place, 
That infidels may prove their title good, 
By an oath dipp'd in sacramental blood ? 
A blot that will be still a blot, in spite 
Of all that grave apologists may write ; 
And, though a bishop toil to cleanse the stain, 
He wipes and scours the silver cup In vain. 
And hast thou sworn, on every slight pretence, 
Till perjuries are common as bad pence. 
While thousands, careless of the damning sin, 
Kiss the book's outside, who ne'er look within ? 

Hast thou, when Heaven has cloth'd thee with dis- 
And, long provok'd, repaid thee to thy face, 
(For thou hast known eclipses, and endur'd 
Dimness and anguish, all thy beams obscurM, 
When sin has shed dishonour on thy brow ; 
And never of a sabler hue than now) 
Hast thou, with heart perverse and conscience sear'd, 
Despising all rebuke, still persever'd. 
And, having chosen evil, scorn'd the voice 
That cried, Repent ! — and gloried in thy choice ? 
Thy fastings, when calamity at last 
Suggests th' expedient of a yearly faet^ 

VOL* I. H 


What meant tliey ? Canst thou dream there is a powtf 

111 lighter diet, at a later hour. 

To charm to sleep the threatening of the skies^ 

And hide past folly from all-seeing eyes ? 

The fast that wins deliverance, and suspends 

The stroke that a vindictive God intends, 

Is to renounce hypocrisy ; to draw 

Thy life upoii the pattern of the law ^ 

To war with pleasure, idolized before ; 

To vanquish lust, and wear its yoke no mor^. 

All fasting else, whatever be the pretence, 

Is vrooing mercy by renevi^'d offence. 

Hast thou within thee sin, that in old time 
Brought fire from heaven, the sex-abusing crime, 
Whose horrid perpetration stamps disgrace, 
Baboons are free from, upon human race ? 
Think on the fruitful and well.-water'd spot 
That fed the flocks and herds of wealthy Lot, 
Where Paradise seem'd still vouchsafed on earth. 
Burning and scorch'd into perpetual dearth. 
Or, in his words who damn'd the base desire. 
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire : 
Then nature, injur'd, scandaliz'd, defii'd, 
Unveii'd her blushing cheek, look'd on, and smll'd ; 
Beheld, with joy, the lovely scene defac'd, 
And prais'd the wrath that laid her beauties waste. 

Far be the thought from any verse of mine. 
And farther s^ill the form'd and fix'd design. 


To thrust the charge of deeds that I detest 
Against an innocent, unconscious breast : 
The man that dares traduce, because he can 
With safety to himself^ is not a man : 
An individual is a sacred mark, 
Not to be pierc'd in play, or in the dark ; 
But public censure speaks a pubhc foe. 
Unless a zeal for virtus guide the blow. 

The priestly brotherhood, devout, sincere^ 
From mean self-interest and ambition clear, 
Their hope in heaven, servility their scorn. 
Prompt to persuade, expostulate, and warn. 
Their wisdom pure, and given them from above. 
Their usefulness ensur'd by zeal and love, 
As meek as the man Moses, and withal 
As bold as in Agrippa's presence Paul, 
Should fly the world's contaminating touchy 
Holy and unpolluted :— ^are thine such ? 
Except a few with EH's spirit blest, 
Hophni and Phinehas may describe the rest* 

Where shall a teacher look, in days Kke these, 
For ears and hearts that he can hope to please ^ 
Look to the poor — the simple and the plain 
Will hear, perhaps, thy salutary strain : 
Humility is gentle, apt to learn. 
Speak but the word, will hsten and return, 
Alas, not so ! the poorest of the flock 
Are proud, and set their faces as a rock ; 


Denied that earthly opulence they choose, 

God's better gift they scoff at and refuse. 

The rich, the produce of a nobler stem, 

Are more intelligent, at least — try them. 

Oh, vain inquiry ! they, without remorse. 

Are altogether gone a devious course ; 

Where beckoning pleasure leads them, wildly stray ; 

Have burst the bands, and cast the yoke away. 

Now, borne upon the wings of truth subhme, 
Review thy dim original and prime. 
This island, spot of unreclaim'd, rude earth, 
The cradle, that received thee at thy birth. 
Was rock'd by many a rough Norwegian blast. 
And Danish howhngs scar'd thee as they pass'd $ 
For thou wast born amid the din of arms. 
And suck'd abreast that panted with alarms* 
While yet thou wast a grovelling, puling chit. 
Thy bones not fashion'd, and thy joints not knit, 
The Roman taught thy stubborn knee to bow. 
Though twice a Caesar could not bend thee now 5 
His victory v»'as that of orient light. 
When the sun's shafts disperse the gloom of night. 
Thy language, at this distant moment, shows 
How much the country to the conqueror owes ; 
Expressive, energetic, and refin'd. 
It sparkles with the gems he left behind : 
He brought thy land a blessing when he came ; 
He found thee savage, and he left thee tame : 
Taught thee to clothe thy pink'd and painted hide. 
And grace thy figure with a soldier's pride i 


He sow'd the seeds of order where he went, 

Improv'd thee far beyond his own intent, 

And, while he rul'd thee by the sword alone, 

Made thee at last a warrior like his own. 

Religion, if in heavenly truths attir'd, 

Needs only to be seen to be admir'd ; 

But thine, as dark as witcheries of the night. 

Was forra'd to harden hearts and shock the sight. 

Thy druids struck the welUhung harps they bore 

With fingers deeply dy'd in human gore ; 

And, while the victim slowly bled to death, 

Upon the roUing chords rung out his dying breath. 

Who brought the lamp, that with awakening beams 
Dispell'd thy gloom, and broke away thy dreams, 
Tradition, now decrepit and worn oiTt, 
Babbler of ancient fables, leaves a doubt : 
But still light reached thee ; and tliose gods of thine, 
Woden and Thor, each tottering in his shrine, 
Fell, broken and defac'd, at their own door, 
As Dagon in Philistia long before. 
But Rome, with sorceries and magic wand. 
Soon rais'd a cloud that darkened every land ; 
And thine was smother*d in the stench and fog 
Of Tyber's marshes and the papal bog. 
Then priests, with bulls and briefs, and shaven crowns^ 
And griping fists, and unrelenting frowns, 
Legates and delegates, with powers from hell. 
Though heavenly in pretension, fleecM thee w^.^ll j 
H 2 


And to this hour, to keep it fresh in mind. 
Some twigs of that old scourge are left behind.* 
Thy soldiery, the pope's well managed pack. 
Were train'd beneath his lash, and knew the smack> 
And when he laid them on the scent of blood. 
Would hunt a Saracen through fire and flood. 
Lavish of life, to win an empty tomb, 
That provM a mint of wealth, a mine, to Rome, 
They left their bones beneath unfriendly skies. 
His wortless absolution all the prize ! 
Thou wast the veriest slave, in days of yore. 
That ever dragg'd a chain, or tuggM an oar. 
Thy monarchs, arbitrary, fierce, unjust, 
Them.selves the slaves of bigotry or lust, 
.Disdain'd thy counsels 5 only in distress 
Found thee a goodly sponge for power to press* 
Thy chiefs, the lords of many a petty fee, 
Provok-d and harass'd, in return plagu'd thee 5 
CalPd thee away from peaceable employ. 
Domestic happiness and rural joy, 
To waste thy life in arms, or lay it down 
In causeless feuds and bickerings of their own* 
Thy parliaments adorM, en bended knees, 
The sovereignty they were convened to please ; 
Whatever was ask'd, too timid to resist. 
Complied with, and were graciously dismissed ; 
And, if some Spartan soul a doubt expressed, 
And, blushing at the tameness of the rest. 

* Which aiay be found at Doctor's Comroon?* 


DarM to suppose the subject had a choice, 

He was a traitor by the general voice. 

Oh, slave i with powers thou didst not dare exertj, 

Verse cannot stoop so low as thy desert ; 

It shakes the sides of splenetic disdain^ 

Thou self-entitled ruler of the main, 

To trace thee to the date when yon fair sea, 

That clips thy shores, had no such charms for thee j 

When other nations flew from coast to coast. 

And thou hadst neither fleet nor flag to boast. 

Kneel now, and lay thy forehead in the dust f 
Blush, if thou canst ; not petrified, thou must ; 
Act but an honest and a faithful part ; 
Compare what then thou wast with what thou art j 
And, God^s disposing providence confess*d, 
Obduracy itself must yield the rest. — 
Then thou art bound to ser/e him, and to prove. 
Hour after hour, thy gratitude and love. 

Has he not hid thee, and thy favourM land. 
For ages safe beneath his sheltering hand. 
Given thee his blessing on the clearest proof,^ 
Bid nations leagu'd against thee stand aloof. 
And chargM hostility and hate to roar 
Where else they would, but not upon thy shore ? 
His power secur'd thee when presumptuous Spaia 
Baptized her fleet invincible in vain. 
Her gloomy monarch, doubtful and resigned 
To every pang that racks an anxious mind, 
Ask'd of the waves that broke upon his coast. 
What tidings i and the surge replied — ^All lost I 



And when the Stuart, leaning on the Scot, 

Then too much fearM, and now too much forgot, 

Pierc'd to the very centre of the realm, 

And hcp'd to seize his abdicated helm, 

'Twas but to prove how quickly, with a frown, 

He that had rais'd thee could have pluck'd the€ dowa# 

Peculiar is the grace by thee possessed, 

Thy foes implacable, thy land at rest ; 

Thy thunders travel over earth and seas, 

And all at home is pleasure, wealth, and ease. 

'Tis thus, extending his tempestuous arm, 

Thy Maker fills the nations with alarm. 

While his own heaven surveys the troubled scene. 

And feels no change, unshaken and serene. 

Freedom, in other lands scarce known to shine. 

Pours out a flood of splendour upon thine ; 

Thou hast as bright an interest in her rays 

As ever Roman had in Rome's best days. 

True freedom is where no restraint is known 

That scripture, justice and good sense disown, 

Where only vice and injury are tied, 

And all from shore to shore is free beside. 

Such freedom is — and Windsor's hoary towers 

Stood trembhng at the boldness of thy powers. 

That won a nymph on that immortal plain, 

Like her the fabled Phoebus woo'd in vain : 

He found the laurel only — happier you, 

Th' unfading laurel and the virgin too 1* 

* Alluding to the grant of Magna Charta, which was ex- 
torted from King John by the Barons, at Runnymede, near 


Now think, if pleasure have a thought to spare ; 
If God himself be not beneath her care I 
If business, constant as the wheels of time, 
Can pause an hour to read a serious rhyme 5 
If the new mail thy merchants now receive.^ 
Or expectation of the next, give leave ; 
Oh think, if chargeable with deep arrears 
For such indulgence gilding all thy yearsy 
How rcuch, though long neglected, shining yet", 
The beams of heavenly truth have swell'd the debt I 
When persecuting zeal made royal sport 
With tortur'd innocence in Mary's court. 
And Bonner, blithe as shepherd at a wake, 
Enjoy 'd the siiow, and danc'd abaut the stake ; 
The sacred book, its value understood, 
Receiv'd the seal of martyrdom in blood. 
Those holy men, so full of truth and grace^ 
Seem, to reflection, of a different race j 
Meek, modest, venerable, wise, sincere. 
In such a cause they could not dare to fear ; 
They could not purchase earth with such a prize^ 
Or spare a hfc toa short to reach the skies. 
From them to thee convey'd along the tide, 
Their streaming hearts pour'd freely v;hen they died ] 
Those truths, which neither use nor years impair. 
Invite thee, woo thee, to the bhss they share. 
What dotage will not vanity maintain ? 
What web too weak to catch a modern brain ? 
The moles and bats in full assembly find, 
On special search, the keea ey'd eagle blind. 


And did they dream, and art thou wiser now ? 

Prove it — if better, I submit and bow. 

Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart 

Must hold both sisters, never seen apart* 

So then — as darkness overspread the deep^ 

Ere nature rose from her eternal sleep. 

And this delightful earth, and that fair sky, 

Leap'd out of nothing, call'd by the Most High j 

By such a change thy darkness is made hght, 

Thy chaos order, and thy weakness might 5 

And HE, whose power mere nuUity obeys, 

Who found thee nothing, formed thee for his praise* 

To praise him is to serve him, and fulfil,- 

Doing and suffering, his unquestioned will ; 

^Tis to beheve what men inspired of old. 

Faithful, and faithfully informed, unfold ; 

Candid and just, with no false aim in view, 

To take for truth what cannot but be true ; 

To learn in God's own school the Christian partj 

And bind the task assign'd thee to thine heart : 

Happy the man there seeking and there found, 

Happy the nation where such men abound ! 

How shall a verse impress thee ? by what name 
Shall I adjure thee not to court thy shame ? 
By theirs, whose bright example, unimpeach'd, 
Directs thee to that eminence they reached — 
Heroes and worthies of days past, thy sires ? 
Or his, who touch'd their hearts with hallo w'd fires ? 
Their names, alas ! in vain reproach an age. 
Whom all the vanities they scornM, engage ^ 


And his, that seraphs tremble at, is hung 
Disgracefully on every trifler's tongue, 
Or serves the champion in forensic war 
To flourish and parade with at the bar. 
Pleasure herself, perhaps, suggests a plea, 
If interest move thee, to persuade e*en thee,. 
By every charm that smiles upon her face. 
By joys possessed and joys still held in chase. 
If dear society ^e worth a thought, 
And if the feast of freedom cloy thee not, 
Reflect that these, and all that seems thine own, 
Held by the tenure of his will alone. 
Like angels in the service of their Lord, 
Remain with thee, or leave thee at his word | 
That gratitude and temperance in our use 
Of what he gives, unsparing and profuse. 
Secure the favour, and enhance the joy. 
That thankless waste and wild abuse destroy. 

But, above all, reflect — how cheap soe'er 
Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear. 
And, though resolv'd to risk them, and swim down 
The tide of pleasure, heedless of his frown — 
That blessings truly sacred, and when given 
Mark'd with the signature and stamp of Heaven, 
The word of prophecy, those truths divine. 
Which make that heaven, if thou desire it, thme, 
(Awful alternative 1 believed, belov'd. 
Thy glory ; and thy shame, if unimprov'd) 
Are never long vouchsafed, if push'd aside 
With cold disgust, or philosophic priJe j 


And that, judicially withdrawn, disgrace, 
Error, and darkness, occupy their place, 

A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot 
Not quickly found if negligently sought. 
Thy soul as ample as thy bounds are small, 
Endur'st the brunt, and dar'st defy them all : 
And wilt thou join to this bold enterprise 
A bolder still, a contest with the skies ? 
Remember, if He guard thee and secure, 
Whoe'er assails thee, thy success is sure ; 
But if he leave thee, though the skill and power 
Of nations, sworn to spoil thee and devour. 
Were all collected in thy single arm, 
And thou could'st laugh away the fear of harm, 
That strength v/ould fail, oppos'd against the push 
And feeble onset of a pigmy rush. 

Say not (and, if the thought of such defence 
Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence) 
What nation amongst all my foes is free 
From crimes as base as any charg'd on me ? 
Their measure fiU'd, they, too, shall pay the debt 
Which God, though long forborn, will not fo rget 
But know that wrath divine, when most severe, 
Makes justice still the guide of his career, 
And will not punish, in one mingled crowd, 
Them without light, and thee without a cloud. 

Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech, 
Still murmuring with the solemn truths I teach ; 


And, while, at intervals, a cold blast sings 
Through the dry leaves, and pants upon the strings, 
My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament 
A nation scourg'd, yet tardy to repent. 
I know the warning song is sung in vain ; 
That few will hear, and fewer heed the strain : 
But, if a sweeter voice, and one design *d 
A blessing to my countr}' and mankind, 
Reclaim the wandering thousands, and bring home 
A flock, so scattered, and so wont to roam, 
Then place it once again between my knees ; 
The sound of truth will then be sure to please : 
And truth alone, where'er my life be cast, -% 

In scenes of plenty or the pining waste, V 

Shall be my chosen theme, my glory to the last. 3 

VOL. !• 


■ > doceas Iter et sacra osita pandas. 

ViRG. jEn. 6- 

jt^SK what IS human life — the sagereplies^ 

With disappointment lowering in his eyes, 

A painful passage o'er a restless flood, 

A vain pursuit of fugitive false good, 

A scene of fancied bhss and heart -felt care, 

Closing, at last, in darkness and despair. 

The poor, inur*d to drndgery and distress. 

Act without aim, think little, and feel less, 

And no where, but in feign'd Arcadian scenes. 

Taste happiness, or know what pleasure means. 

Riches are pass'd away from hand to hand, 

As fortune, vice, or folly, may command. 

As in a dance the pair that take the lead 

Turn downward, and the lowest pair succeed, 

So shifting and so various is the plan 

By which Heaven rules the mix'd affairs of man : 

Vicissitude wheels round the motley crowd. 

The rich grow poor, the poor become purse-proud ;. 

Business is labour, and, man's weakness such^ 

Pleasure is labour too, and tires as m.uch, 

The very sense of it foregoes its use, 

By repetition palPd, by age obtuse. 

>. oiitfi loot in dissipation, we deplore. 
Through life's sad remnant, what no sighs restore ; 
Our years, a fruitless race without a prize, 
Too many, yet too few to n?.Hke us wise* 

Dangling his cane about, and taking snufF, 
Lothario cries, What philosophic stuff — 
Oh, querulous and Weak ! — whose useless brain 
Once thought of nothing, and now thinks in vain ; 
Whose eye, reverted, weeps o'er all the past; 
Whose prospect shews thee a disheartening waste ; 
Would age in thee resign his wintry reign. 
And youth invigorate that frame again, 
ilenew*d desire would grace with other speech 
Joys always priz'd — when pla^'d within our reach. 

For lift thy palsied head, shake oil the gloom 
That overhangs the borders of thy tomb, 
See nature, gay as when she first began. 
With smiles alluring her admirer, man ; 
She spreads the morning over eastern hills ; 
Earth glitters with the drops the night distils 5 
The sun, obedient, at her call appears, 
To fling his glories o'er the robe she wears ; 
Banks cloth'd with flowers, groves fiU'd with sprightly 

The yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising grounds, 
Streams cdg'd with osiers, fattening every field 
Where'er they flow, now seen and now conceal'd ; 
From the blue rim, where skies and mountains meet, 
Down to the very turf beneath thy feet, 

100 HOPE. 

Ten thousand charms, that only fools despise. 

Or pride can look at with indifferent eyes. 

All speak one iangiiage, all with one sweet voice 

Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice ! 

Man feels the spur of passions and desires. 

And she gives largely more than he requires ; 

Not that, his hours devoted all to care, 

Hollow-ey'd abstinence, and lean despair, 

The wretch may pine, while to his smell, taste, sight. 

She holds a paradise of rich delight ; 

B\it gently to rebuke his awkward fear, 

To prove that what she gives she gives sincere, 

To banish hesitation, and proclaim 

His happiness, her dear, her only aim. 

'Tis grave philosophy's absurdest dream, 

That Heaven's intentions are not what they seem, 

That only shadows are dispensed below, 

And earth has no reality but woe. 

Thus things terrestrial wear a different hue. 
As youth or age persuades ; and neither true : 
So Flora's wreath through colour' d crystal seen, 
The rose or lily appears blue or green, 
But still th' imputed tints are those alone 
The medium represents, and not their own. 

To rise at noon, sit slipshod and undressed, 
To read the news, or fiddle, as seems best. 
Till half the world comes rattling at his door, 
To fill the dull vacuity till four ; 
And, just when evening turns the blue vault grey, 
To spend two hours in dressing for the day ; 


To make the sun a bubble without use> 
Save for the fruits his heavenly beams produce ; 
Quite to forget, or deem it worth no thought. 
Who bids him shine, or if he shine or not ; 
Through mere necessity to close his eyes 
Just when the larks and when the shepherds rise ; 
Is such a life, so tediously the same. 
So void of all utility or aim, 
That poor Jonquil, with almost every breath. 
Sighs for his exit, vulgarly call'd death : 
For he, with all his follies, has a mind 
Not yet so blank, or fashionably blind. 
But now and then, perhaps, a feeble ray 
Of distant wisdom shoots across his way, 
By which he reads, that life without a plan, 
As useless as the moment it began, 
Serves merely as a soil for discontent 
To thrive in ; an incumbrance, ere half spent. 
Oh ! weariness beyond what asses feel. 
That tread the circuit of the cistern wheel ; 
A dull rotation, never at a stay. 
Yesterday's face twin i'mage of to-day ; 
While conversation, an exhausted stock, 
Grows drowsy as the clicking of a clocko 
No need, he cries, of gravity stuffed out 
With academic dignity devout, 
To read wise lectures — vanity the text ! 
Proclaim the remedy, ye learned, next ; 
For truth, self-evident, with pomp impressed, 
I» vanity surpassing all the rest. 
J 2 

102 HO?E. 

That remedy, not hid in deeps profound^ 
Yet seldom sought where only to be found, 
While passion turns aside from its due scope 
Th' inquirer's aim — that remedy is Hope. 

Life is his gift, from whom whate'er life needs^ 
With every good and perfect gift, proceeds ; 
Bestow 'd on man, like all that we partake, 
Royally, freely, for his bounty sake ; 
Transient, indeed, as is the fleeting hour. 
And yet the seed of an immortal flower ; 
Design'd, in honour of his endless love, 
To fill with fragrance his abode above ; 
No trifle, howsoever short it seem, 
And, howsoever shadowy, no dream ; 
Its value what no thought can ascertain. 
Nor all an angePs eloquence explain. 
Men deal with hfe as children with their play. 
Who fiist misuse, then cast their toys aw^ay j 
JLive to no sober purpose, and contend 
That their Creator had no serious end. 
When God and man stand opposite in view, 
Man's disappointment must, of course, ensue. 
The just Creator condescends to write, 
In beams of inextinguishable Hght, 
His names of wisdom, goodness, power and love, 
On all that blooms below, or shines above ; 
To catch the wandering notice of mankind, 
And teach the world, if not perversely bhnd, 
His gracious attributes, and prove the share 
His offspring hold in his paternal care. 

HOPE* 103 

If, led from earthly things to things divine, 
His creature thwart not his august design. 
Then praise is heard instead of reasoning pride, 
And captious cavil and complaint subside . 
Nature, employ'd in her allotted place, 
Is handn:iaid to the purposes of grace ; 
By good vouchsafed, makes known superior good, 
And bhss not seen by blessings understood : 
That bliss, reveaPd in scripture, with a glow 
Bright as the covenant-ensuring bow, 
Fires all his feelings with a noble scorn 
Of sensual evil, and thus Hope is born. 

Hope sets the stamp of vanity on all 
That men have deem'd substantial since the fall. 
Yet has the wondrous virtue to educe, 
From emptiness itself, a real use ; 
And, while she takes, as at a father's hand, 
What health and sober appetite demand. 
From fading good derives, with chemic art, 
That lasting happiness, a thankful heart. 
Hope, with uplifted foot set free from earth. 
Pants for the place of her ethereal birth, 
On steady wings sails through th' immense abyss, 
Plucks amaranthine joys from bowers of blisfi, 
And crowns the soul, while yet a mourner here, 
With wreaths like those triumphant spirits wear. 
Hope, as an anchor firm and sure, holds fast 
The christian vessel, and defies the blast. 
Hope ! nothing else can nourish and secure 
His new-born virtues, and preserve him pure. 

104? HOPE^, 

Hope ! let the wretch, once conscious of the joy^ 

Whom now despairing agonies destroy, 

Speak, for he can, and none so well as he. 

What treasures centre, what delights, in thee. 

Had he the gems, the spices, and the land 

That boasts the treasure, all at his command ; 

The fragrant grove, th' inestimable mine. 

Were light, when weigh'd against one smile of thine. 

Though claspM and cradled in his nurse's arms. 
He shine with all a cherub's artless charms, 
Man is the genuine offspring of revolt, 
Stubborn and sturdy — a wild ass's cult ; 
His passions, like the watery stores that sleep 
Beneath the smiling surface of the deep, 
Wait but the lashes of a wintry storm, 
To frown and roar, and shake his feeble form. 
From infancy, through childhood's giddy maze, 
Froward at school, and fretful in his plays, 
The puny tyrant burns to subjugate 
The free republic of the whip-gig state. 
If one, his equal in athletic frame. 
Or, more provoking still, of nobler name. 
Dares step across his arbitrary views, 
An Iliad, only not in verse, ensues : 
The httle Greeks look trembhng at the scales, 
Till the best tongue, or heaviest hand, prevails. 

Now see him launched into the world at large. 
If priest, supinely droning o'er his charge. 
Their fleece his pillow, and his weekly drawl. 
Though sbort, too long, the price he pays for alL 

H'0?E. 105 

If lawyer, loud whatever cause he plead, 
But proudest of the worst, if that succeed. 
Perhaps a grave physician, gathering fees, 
Punctually paid for tngthening out disease , 
No Cotton, whose humanity sheds rays 
That make superior skill his second praise. 
If arms engage him, he devotes to sport 
His date of Hfe, so Hkely to be short. 
A soldier may be any thing, if brave ; 
So may a tradesman, if not quite a knave. 
Such stuff the world is made of ; and mankind. 
To passion, interest, pleasure, whim, resigned. 
Insist on, as if each were his. own pope. 
Forgiveness, and the privilege of Hope. 
But conscience, in some awful silent hour. 
When captivating lusts have lost their power — 
Perhaps when sickness, or some fearful dream, 
Reminds him of religion, hated theme ! — 
Starts from the down on which she lately slept. 
And tells of laws despised, at least not kept ; 
Shows, with a pointing finger, but no noise, 
A pale procession of past sinful joys. 
All witnesses of blessings foully scorn'd. 
And life abus'd, and not to be suborn'd. 
Mark these, she says ; these, summon^ from afar. 
Begin their march, to meet thee at the bar ; 
There find a Judge inexorably jUSt,' 
And perish there, as all presumption must. 

Peace be to those (such peace as earth can give) 
Who live in pleasure, dead e'ea while they live ; 


106 Hoi^i. 

Born capable, indeed, of heavenly truth ; 

But down to latest age, from earliest youth, 

Their mind a wilderness, through want of carey 

The plough of wisdom never entr^Hng there. 

Peace (if insensibility may claim 

A right to the meek honours of her name) 

To men of pedigree, their noble race, 

Emulous, always, of the nearest place 

To any throne, except the throne of grace- 

(.Let cottagers and unenlightened swains 

Revere the laws they dream that Heaven ordains ; 

Resort on Sundays to the house of prayer, 

And ask and fancy they iind blessings there. ) 

Themselves, perhaps, v/hen weary they retreat 

T' enjoy cool riaturein a- country seat, 

T' exchange the centre of a thousand trades, 

For clumps, and lawns, and temples, and cascades* - 

May now and then their velvet cushions take, 

And seem to pray, for good example sake j 

Judging, in charity no doubt, the town 

Pious, and having need of none. 

Kind souls 1 to teach their tenantry to prize 

What they, themselves, v/ithout remorse, despise 2 

Nor hope have they, nor fear, of aught to come — 

As well for them had prophecy been dumb. 

They could have held the conduct they pursue. 

Had Paul of Tarsus liv'd and died a Jew ; 

And truth, proposed to reasoners wise as they, 

Is a pearl cast— completely cast away^ 


They die. — DeatK lends them, pleasM^ and as in sport, 
All the grim honours of his ghastly court* 
Far other paintings grace the chamber now. 
Where late we saw the mimic landscape glow : 
The busy heralds hang the sable scene 
With mournfpl 'scutcheons, and dim lamps between, 
Proclaim their titles to the crowd around. 
But they that wore them move not at the sound ; 
The coronet, placM idly at their head, 
Adds nothing now to the degraded dead, 
And e'en the star that glitters on the bier 
Can only say^ — Nobility lies here. 

Peace to all bucK 't-v%'crc pity to offend. 

By useless censure, whom we cannot mend ; 
X-ife, without hope, can close but in despair— 
'Twas there y;e fpund them, and must leave them there, 

As, when two pilgrims in a forest stray, 
Both may be lost, yet each in his own way ; 
So fares it with the multitudes beguiPd 
In vain opinion's waste and dangerous wild. 
Ten thousand rove the brakes and thorns among, 
Some eastward, and some westward, and all wrong. 
But here, alas ! the fatal difference lies- 
Each man's belief is right in his own eyes : 
And he that blames what they have blindly chose 
Incurs resentment for the love he shows. 

Say, botanist, v/ithin whose province fall 
The cedai' and the hjssop on the wall, 


Of all that deck the lanes, the fields, the bowers, 

What parts the kindred tribes of weeds and flowers ? 

Sweet scent, or lovely form, or both combined, 

Distinguish every cultivated kind ; 

The want of both denotes a meaner breed, 

And Chloe from her garland picks the weed. 

Thus hopes of every sort, whatever sect 

Esteem them, sow them, rear them, and protect. 

If wild in nature, and not duly found, 

Gethsemane, in thy dear hallowed ground, 

That cannot bear the blaze of scripture light. 

Nor cheer the spirit, nor refresh the sight. 

Nor animate the soul to christian deeds, 

(Oh cast them from thee ! ) are weeds, arrant weeds. 

Ethelred's house, the centre of six v;ays. 
Diverging each from each, like equal rays, 
Himself as bountiful as April rains. 
Lord paramount of the surrounding plains, 
Would give relief of bed and board to none. 
But guests that sought it in the appointed One, 
And they m.ight enter at his open door. 
E'en till his spacious hall would hold no more. 
He sent a servant forth by every road, 
To sound his horn and pubhsh it abroad. 
That all might mark— knight, menial, high and low— 
An ordinance it concerned them much to know. 
If, after all, som.e headstrong hardy lout 
Would disobey, though sure to be shut out, 
Could he, with reason, murmur at his case, 
Himself sole author of his own disgrace i 


No ! the decree was just and without flaw ; 
And he that made, had right to make, the law ; 
His sovereign power and pleasure unrestrained, 
The wrong was his who wrongfully complain' d. 

Yet half mankind maintain a churlish strife 
With him, the Donor of eternal hfe, 
Because the deed, by which his love confirms 
The largess he bestows, prescribes the terms. 
Compliance with his will your lot ensures— 
Accept it only, and the boon is yours. 
And sure it is as kind to smile and give, 
As with a frown to say — Do this, and live ! 
Love is not pedlar's trumpery, bought and sold | 
He w/7/give freely, or he will withhold ; 
His soul abhors a mercenary thought, 
And him as deeply who abhors it not ; 
He stipulates, indeed, but merely this — 
That man will freely take an unbought bHss, 
Will trust him for a faithful generous part, 
Nor set a price upon a willing heart. 
Of all the ways that seem to promise fair, 
To place you where his saints his presence share, 
This only can ; for this plain cause, expressed 
In terms as plain — ^himself has shut the rest. 
But oh the strife, the bickering, and debate, 
The tidings of unpurchased heaven create ! 
The flirted fan, the bridle, and the toss. 
All speakers, 'yet all language at a loss. 

VOL. I. K 


lid HOPE. 

From stuccoM walls smart arguments rebound ; 
And beaux, adepts in every thing profound, 
Die of disdain, or whistle off the sound. 
Such is the clamour of rooks, daws and kites, 
Th' explosion of the leveU'd tube excites, 
Where mouldering abbey walls o'erhung the glade, 
And oaks, coeval, spread a mournful shade. 
The screaming nations, hovering in mid air, 
Loudly resent the stranger's freedom there. 
And seem to warn him never to repeat 
His bold intrusion on their dark retreat* 

Adieu, Vinosa cries, ere yet he sips 
The purple bumper, trembling at his lips, 
Adieu to all morality— if grace 
Make works a vain ingredient in the case ! 
The Christian hope is— Waiter, draw the cork— = 
If I mistake no.t-^Blockhead ! wnth a fork ! 
Without good works, w^iateyer some may boaat, 
Mere folly and delusion — Sir, your toast ! 
My firm persuasion is, at least sometimes, 
That Heaven w^ill weigh man's virtues and his crimes 
With nice attention, in a righteous scale, 
And save or damn, as these or those prevail. 
I plant my foot upon this ground of trust, 
And silence every fear with — God is just. 
But if, perchance, on some dull drizzhng day, 
A thought intrude, that says, or seems to say, 
If thus th' important cause is to be tried, 
Suppose the beam should dip on the wTong side j 

HOPE. 1^ 

I soon recover from these needless frights. 
And, God IS merciful — sets all to rights. 
Thus, between justice, as my prime support. 
And mercy, fled to as the last resort, 
I ghde and steal along with heaven in view. 
And — pardon me— the bottle stands with you. 

I never will believe, the colonel cries, 
The sanguinary schemes that some devise. 
Who make the good Creator, on their plan, 
A being of less equity than man. 
If appetite, or what divines call lust. 
Which men comply with, e'en because they must. 
Be punished with perdition, who is pure ? 
Then theirs, no doubt, as well as mine, is sure. 
If sentence of eternal pain belong 
To every sudden slip and transient wrong, 
Then Heaven enjoins the fallible and frail 
A hopeless task, and damns them if they fail ! 
My creed (whatever some creed-makers mean 
By Athenasian nonsense, or Nicene) 
My creed is — he is safe that does his best. 
And death's a doom sufficient for the rest. 

Right, says an ensign ; and for aught I see, 
Your faith and mine substantially agree ; 
The best of every man's performance here 
Is to discharge the duties of his sphere. ' * 

A lawyer's deaUngs should be just and fair- 
Honesty shines with great advantage there 


Fasting and prayer sit well upon a priest— 
A decent caution and reserve, at least. 
A soldier's best is courage in the field, 
With nothing here that wants to be concealM : 
Manly deportment, gallant, easy, gay : 
A hand as liberal as the light of day. 
The soldier thus endow'd, who never shrinks, 
Nor closets up his thought, whatever he thinks, 
Who scorns to do an injury by stealth, 
Must go to heaven — and I must drink his healt!i* 
Sir Smug, he cries, (for lowest at the board- 
Just made fifth chaplain of his patron lord. 
His shoulders witnessing, by many a shrug, 
How much his feelings suffered — sat Sir Smug) 
Your office is to winnow false from true ; 
Come, prophet, drink, and tell us — What think you ? 

Sighing and smiling as he takes his glass, 
Which they that woo preferment rarely pass. 
Fallible man, the church-bred youth replies, 
Is still found fallible, however wise ; 
And differing judgments serve but to declare 
That truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where* 
Of all it ever was my lot to read, 
Of critics now alive, or long since dead, 
The book, of all the world, that charm'd me most, 
Was — well-a-day, the title page was lost ! 
The writer well remarks, a heart that knows 
To take with gratitude what Heaven bestows. 
With prudence always ready at our call, 
To guide our use of it, is all in all. 

fiOP£* 113 

Doubtless It is.— To which, of my own store, 

I superadd a few essentials more ; 

But these, excuse the liberty I take, 

I wave just now, for conversation sake.— — i 

Spoke like an oracle, they all exclaim. 

And add Right Reverend to Smug's honoured name ! 

And yet our lot is given us in a land 
Where busy arts are never at a stand ; 
Where science points her telescopic eye, 
Familiar with the wonders of the sky ; 
Where bold inquiry, diving out of sight. 
Brings many a precious pearl of truth to light ; 
Where naught eludes the persevering quest. 
That fashion, taste, or luxury, suggest. 

But, above all, in her own light array'd, 
See mercy's grand Apocalypse displayed ! 
The sacred book no longer suffers wrong, 
Bound in the fetters of an unknown tongue ; 
But speaks with plainness, art could never rnend, 
What simplest minds can soonest comprehend. 
God gives the word — the preachers throng around, 
Live from his lips, and spread the glorious sound j 
That sound bespeaks salvation on her way. 
The trumpet of a hfe-restoring day I 
^Tis heard where England's eastern glory shines. 
And in the gulfs of her Cornubian mines, 
K 2 



And still It spreads. See Germany send forth 

Her sons* to pour it on the farthest north j 

Fir'd with a zeal peculiar, they defy 

The rage and rigour of a polar sky, 

And plant successfully sweet Sharon's rose 

On icy plains, and in eternal snows. 

Oh, blest within th' enclosure of your rocks, 
Nor herds have ye to boast, nor bleating flocka ? 
No fertilizing streams your fields divide, 
That show, revers'd, the villas on their side ; 
No groves have ye ; no cheerful sound of bird, 
Or voice of turtle, in your land is heard ; 
Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell 
Of those that walk at evening where ye dwell : 
But winter, arm'd with terrors here unknown, 
Sits absolute on his unshaken throne ; 
Piles up his stores amidst the frozen waste. 
And bids the mountains he has built stand fast 
Beckons the legions of his storms away 
?From happier scenes, to make your land a prey ; 
Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won. 
And scorns to share it with the distant sun. 
— Yet truth is yours, remote, unenvied isle ! 
And peace, the genuine offspring of her smile 1 
The pride of letter'd ignorance, that binds 
In chains of error our accom.phsh'd minds. 
That decks, with all the splendour of the true, 
A false religion, is unknown to you. 

♦ T"he Moravian Missionaries in Greenland. Vide Kranta, 


Nature, indeed, vouchsafes, for our delight, 
The sweet vicissitudes of day and night ; 
Soft airs and genial moisture feed and cheer 
Field, fruit, and flower, and every creature here ; 
But brighter beams, than his who fires the skies, 
Have risen at length on your admiring eyes. 
That shoot into your darkest caves the day, 
From which our nicer optics turn away. 

Here see th' encouragement grace gives to vice. 
The dire effect of mercy without price 1 
What were they ? What some fools are made by art, 
They w^re by nature — ^atheists, head and heart. 
The gross idolatry bhnd heathens teach 
Was too re fin' d for them, beyond their reach. 
Not e'en the glorious sun — though men revere 
The monarch most, that seldom will appear ; 
And though his beams, that quicken where they shine^ 
May claim some right to be esteemed divine- 
Not e'en the sun, desirable as rare. 
Could bend one knee, engage one votary there ! 
They were, what base credulity believes 
True Christians are, dissemblers, drunkards, thieves. 
The fuU-gorg'd savage, at his nauseous feast 
Spent half the darkness, and snor'd out the rest. 
Was one whom justice, on an equal plan. 
Denouncing death upon the sins of man. 
Might almost have indulged with an escape, 
Chargeable only with a human shape. 

What are they now ? — Morality may spare. 
Her grave concern, her kind suspicions, there ; 

116 HOPE* 

The wretch, who once sang wildly, dancM and Iaugh*d, 
And suck'd in dizzy madness with his draught, 
Has wept a silent flood, reversed his ways, 
Is sober, meek, benevolent, and prays ; 
Feeds sparingly, communicates his store, <^ 

Abhors the craft he boasted of before-— (. 

And he that stole, has learnt to steal no more. J 
Well spake the prophet, Let the desert sing, 
Where sprang the thorn the spiry fir shall spring, 
And where unsightly and rank thistles grew, 
Shall grow the mirtle and luxuriant yew. 

Go now, and with important tone demand 
On what foundation virtue is to stand. 
If self-exalting claims be turned adrift. 
And grace be grace indeed, and life a gift. 
The poor reclaimed inhabitant, his eyes 
Ghstening at once with pity and surprise, 
Amaz'd that shadows should obscure the sight 
Of one whose birth was in a land of light, 
Shall answer, Hope, sweet hope, has set me free, 
And made all pleasures else mere dioss to me. 

These, amidst scenes as waste as if denied 
The common care that waits on all beside, 
Wild as if nature there, void of all good, 
Play'd only gambols in a frantic mood, 
(Yet charge not heavenly skill with having plann*d 
A play-thing world, unworthy of his hand ! ) 
Can see his love, though secret evil lurks 
In all we touch, stamp'd plainly on his works ; 

HOPE, 117 

Deem life a blessing with its numerous woes, 
Nor spurn away a gift a God bestows. 
Hard task, indeed, o'er arctic seas to roam I 
Is hope exotic ? grows it not at home ? 
Yes, but an object, bright as orient morn. 
May press the eye too closely to be born j 
A distant virtue we can all confess, 
It hurts our pride and moves our envy less. 

Leuconomus (beneath well sounding Greek 
I slur a name a poet must not speak) 
Stood pilloried on infamy's high stage. 
And bore the pelting scorn of half an age 5 
The very butt of slander, and the blot 
For every dart that malice ever shot. 
The man that mention 'd htm at once dismissed 
All mercy from his Hps, and sneer'd and hiss'd ; 
His crimes were such as Sodom never knew. 
And perjury stood up to swear all true ; 
His aim was mischief, and his zeal pretence. 
His speech rebelhon against common sense \ 
A knave, when tried on honesty's plain rule, 
And, when by that of reason, a mere fool ; 
The world's best comfort was, his doom was pass'd ; 
Die when he might, he must be damn'd at last. 

Now, truth, perform thine office ; waft aside 
The curtain drawn by prejudice and pride. 
Reveal (the man is dead) to wondering eyea 
This more than monster in his proper guise^ 

118 HOPE. 

He lov'd the world that hated him : the tear 
That dropped upon his Bible was sincere : 
AssailM by scandal and the tongue of strife. 
His only answer was, a blameless life ; 
And he that forg'd, and he that threw the dart. 
Had each a brother's interest in his heart ! 
Paul's love of Christ, and steadiness unbribM, 
Were copied close in him, and well transcribed. 
He followed Paul — his zeal a kindred flame. 
His apostolic charity the same* 
Like him, cross'd cheerfully tempestuous seas. 
Forsaking country, kindred, friends, and ease ; 
Like him he labour'd, and, like him, content 
To bear it, suffered shame where'er he went. 

Blush, calumny ! and write upon his tomb, 
If honest eulogy can spare thee room. 
Thy deep repentance of thy thousand lies, 
Which, aim'd at him, have pierc 'd th' offended skies j 
And say, Blot out my sin, confessed, deplor'd, 
Against thine image in thy saint, oh Lord I 

No blinder bigot, I maintain it still. 
Than he who must have pleasure, come what will : 
He laughs, whatever weapon truth may draw, 
And deems her sharp artillery mere strav/. 
Scripture, indeed, is plain ; but God and he. 
On scripture-ground, are sure to disagree ; 
Some wiser rule must teach him how to live. 
Than this his Maker has seen fit to give ; 
Supple and flexible as Indian cane. 
To take the bend his appetites ordain ; 

HOPE. 119 

Contriv'd to suit frail nature's crazy case, 
And reconcile his lusts with saving grace. 
By this, with nice precision of design, 
He draws upon life's map a zig-zag line. 
That shows how far 'tis safe to follow sin. 
And where his danger and God's wrath begin^ 
By this he forms, as pleas'd he sports along, 
His well pois'd estimate of right and wrong j 
And finds the modish manners of the day, 
Though loose, as harmless as an infant's play. 

Build by whatever plan caprice decrees. 
With what materials, on what ground, you please ; 
Your hope shall stand unblam'd, perhaps admir'd, 
^ If not that hope the scripture has requir'd. 

The strange conceits, vain projects, and wild dreams. 

With which hypocrisy forever teems, 

(Though other follies strike the public eye, 

And raise a laugh) pass unmolested by ; 

But if, unblameable in word and thought, 

A man arise — a man whom God has taught. 

With all Elijah's dignity of tone. 

And all the love of the beloved John— 

To storm the citadels they build in air. 

And smite th' untemper'd wall ; 'tis death to spare 1 

To sweep away all refuges of lies. 

And place, instead of quirks themselves devise. 

Lama sahacthani before their eyes ; 

To prove, that without Christ, all gain is loss. 

All hope despair, that stands not on his cross \ 


120 HOPS. 

Except the few his God may have impress'd, 
A tenfold frenzy seizes aH the rest. 

Throughout mankind, the Christian kind at least. 
There dwells a consciousness in every breast, 
That folly ends where genuine hope begins. 
And he that finds his heaven must lose his sins. 
Nature opposes, with her utmost force, 
This riving stroke, this ultimate divorce ; 
And, while religion seems to be her view, 
Hates, with a deep sincerity, the true : 
For this — of all that ever influenced man. 
Since Abel worshipped, or the world began— 
This only spares no lust ; admits no plea ; 
But makes him, if at all, completely free ; 
Sounds forth the signal, as she mounts her car, 
Of an eternal, universal war ; 
Rejects all treaty, penetrates all wiles ; 
Scorns, with the same indifference, frowns and smiles ; 
Drives through the realms of sin, where riot reels. 
And grinds his crown beneath her burning wheels ! 
Hence all that is in man — pride, passion, art, 
Powers of the mind, and feelings of the heart— ^ 
Insensible of truth's almighty charms. 
Starts at her first approach, and sounds. To arms ! 
While bigotry, with well dissembled fears. 
His eyes shut fast, his fingers in his ears. 
Mighty to parry and push by God's word 
With senseless noise, his argument the sword, 
Pretends a zeal for godliness and grace. 
And spits abhorrence in the christian's face. 

HOPE. 121 

Parent of hope, immortal truth ! make known 

Thy deathless wreaths and triumphs, all thine own : 

The silent progress of thy power is such, 

Thy means so feeble, and despis'd so much, 

That few believe the wonders thou hast wrought, 

And none can teach them but whom thou hast taught. 

Oh, see me sworn to serve thee, and command 

A painter's skill into a poet's hand ! 

That while I, trembling, trace a work divine, 

Fancy may stand aloof from the design. 

And light, and shade, and every stroke, be thine. 

inc. J 

If ever thou hast felt another's pain, 
If ever when he sigh'd hast sigh'd again, 
If ever on thy eye-lid stood the tear 
That pity had engendered, drop one here ! 
This man was happy — had the world's good word, 
And with it every joy it can afford ; 
Friendship and love seem'd tenderly at strife, 
Which most should sweeten his untroubled life ; 
Politely learn'd, and of a gentle race, 
Good breeding and good sense gave all a grace, 
And, w^hether at the toilette of the fair 
Fie laughM and trifled, made him welcome there ; 
Or, if in masculine debate he shared, 
Ensur'd him mute attention and reo-ard. 


Alas, how chang'd ! — Expressive of his mind. 
His eyes are sunk, arms folded, head reclin'd ; 
Those awful syllables, hell, death, and sin. 
Though whisper 'd, plainly tell what works within ; 

VOL. I. L 

122 HOPE, 

That conscience there performs her proper part, 
And writes a doomsday sentence on his heart ! 
Torsakkg, and forsaken of all friends, 
He now perceives where earthly pleasure ends : 
Hard task — for one who lately knew no care, 
And harder still, as learnt beneath despair ! 
His hours no longer pass, unmarkM, aw^y, 
A dark importance saddens every day ; 
He hears the notice of the clock, perplex'd. 
And cries — perhaps eternity strikes next ! 
Sweet music is no longer music here. 
And laughter sounds like madness in his ear : 
His grief the world of all her power disarms ; 
Wine has no taste, and beauty has no charms ; 
God's holy word, once trivial in his view, 
Now by the voice of his experience true. 
Seems, as it is, the fountain whence alone 
Must spring that hope he pants to make his own. 
Now let the bright reverse be known abroad ; 
Say man*s a worm, and power belongs to God. 

As when a felon, whom his country's laws 
Have justly doom'd for some atrocious cause, 
Expects, in darkness and heart-chilling fears, 
The shameful close of all his mis-spent years ; 
If chance, on heavy pinions slowly borne, 
A tempest usher in the dreaded mom, 
Upon his dungeon walls the lightning play, 
The thunder seems to summon him away, 
The warder at the door his key applies. 
Shoots back the bolt, and all his courage dies ; 

HOPE. 123 

If then, just then, all thoughts of mercy lost. 
When hope, long lingering, at last yields the ghost, 
The sound of pardon pierce his startled ear, 
He drops at once his fetters and his fear ; 
A transport glows in all he looks and speaks. 
And the first thankful tears bedew his cheeks- 
Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs 
The comfort of a few poor added days. 
Invades, possesses, and o'erwhelms, the soul 
Of him, whom hope has with a touch made whole. 
'Tis heaven, all heaven, descending on the wings 
Of the glad legions of the King of kings 5 
'Tis more — 'tis God diffused through every part, 
*Tis God himself triumphant in his heart ! 
Oh, welcome now the sun's once hated light. 
His noon-day beams were never half so bright. 
Not kindred minds alone are called t' employ 
Their hours, their days, in listening to his joy ; 
Unconscious nature, all that he surveys. 
Rocks, groves, and streams, must join him in his praise^ 

These are thy glorious works, eternal truth, 
The scofif of wither'd age and beardless youth : 
These move the censure and iUiberal grin 
Of fools that hate thee and delight in sin : 
But these shall last when night has quench'd the pole, 
And heaven is all departed as a scroll : 
And when, as justice has long since decreed, 
This earth shall blaze, and a new world succeed, 
Then these thy glorious works, and they who share 
That hope which can alone exclude despair, 

124 "HOPE. 

Shall live exempt from weakness and decay. 
The brightest wonders of an endless day. 

Happy the bard, (if that fair name belong 
To him that blends no fable with his song) 
Whose lines, uniting, by an honest art, 
The faithful monitor's and poet's part, 
Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind. 
And while they captivate, inform the mind : 
Still happier, if he till a thankful soil, 
And fruit reward his honourable toil : 
But happier far, who comfort those that wait 
To hear plain truth at Judah's hallowM gate : 
Their language simjple, as their manners meek. 
No shining ornaments have they to seek ; 
Nor labour they, nor time, nor talents, waste. 
In sorting flowers, to suit a fickle taste ; 
But, while they speak the wisdom of the skies. 
Which art can only darken and disguise, 
Th^ abundant harvest, recompense divine, 
Repays their work — the gleaning only mine. 


Qua nihil mojus mellusve ierrls 
Fata donaverey boniq ; divlf 
Nee dabunty quamvis redeant in aurum 
Tempora priscum. 

HoR. Lib. IV. Od6 % 

JP AIREST and foremost of the train, that wait 

On man's most dignified and happiest state. 

Whether we name thee Chanty or love. 

Chief grace below, and all in all above, 

Prosper (I press thee with a powerful plea) 

A task I venture on, impelled by thee : 

Oh, never seen but in thy blest effects, 

Or felt but in the soul that Heaven selects ; 

Who seeks to praise thee, and to make thee known 

To other hearts, must have thee in his own. 

Come, prompt me with benevolent desires, 

Teach me to kindle at thy gentle fires. 

And, though disgrac'd and shghted, to redeem 

A poet's name, by making thee the theme. 

God, working ever on a social plan, 
By various ties attaches man to man : 
L 2 

126 CHARirr. 

He made at first, though free and unconfin^d^ 

One man, the common father of the kind ; 

That every tribe, though plac'd as he sees best> 

Where seas or deserts part them from the rest, 

Differing in language, manners, or in face. 

Might feel themselves allied to all the race. 

When Cook— ^lamented, and with tears as just 

As ever mingled with heroic dust — 

Steer'd Britain's oak into a world unknown. 

And in his country's glory sought his own. 

Wherever he found man, to nature true,. 

The rights of man were sacred in his view. 

He sooth'd with gifts, and greeted with a smile^ 

The simple native of the new-found isle ; 

He spurn*d the wretch that slighted or withatood 

The tender argument of kindred blood. 

Nor would endure that any should control 

His free born brethren of the southern pole. 

But, though some nobler minds a law respect, 

That none shall with impunity neglect, 

In baser souls unnumber'd evils m.eet, 

To thwart its inEuence, and its end defeat. 

While Cook is lov'd for savage lives he sav'd^ 

See Cortez odious for a world enslaved I 

Where wast thou then, sweet Charity ? wherQ then^ 

Thou tutelary friend of helpless men ? 

Wast thou in monkish cells and nunneries found, 

Gr building hospitals on English ground ? 

No. — Mammon makes the world his legatee 

^Jhrough fej^r, aot love ; and Heaven abhors the ht^ 


Wherever found, (and all men need thy care) 
Nor age nor infancy could find thee there. 
The hand that slew, till it could slay no more, 
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indiaagore^ 
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne- 
As vain imperial Philip on his own, 
Trick'd out of all his royalty by art, 
That stripp'd him bare, and broke his honest heart, 
Died, by the sentence of a shaven priest, 
For scorning what they taught him to detest* 
How dark the veil that intercepts the blaze 
Of Heaven's mysterious purposes and ways ! 
God stood not, though he seem*d to stand, aloof ; 
And at this hour, the conqueror feels the proof: 
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse. 
The fretting plague is in the public purse, 
The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state, 
Starv'd by that indolence their minds create. 
Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again, 
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain 1 
Art thou too fallen, Iberia ? Do we see 
The robber and the murderer weak as we ? 
Thou, that hast wasted earth, and dar'd despise 
AHke the wrath and mercy of the skies. 
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid 
Low in the pits thine avarice has made I 
We come with joy from our eternal rest, 
To see th' oppressor in his turn oppress'd. 
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand 
Roll'd over aU our desolated land> 


Shook principalities and kingdoms down, 
And made the mountains tremble at his frown ? 
The sword shall light upon thy boasted powers. 
And waste them, as thy sword has wasted ours. 
'Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfils, 
And vengeance executes what justice wills. 

Again — the band of commerce was design'd 
T' associate all the branches of mankind ; 
And, if a boundless plenty be the robe, 
Trade is the golden girdle of the globe. 
Wise to promote whatever end he means, 
God opens fruitful nature's various scenes : 
Each climate needs what other climes produce^ 
And offers something to the general use ; 
No land but listens to the common call, 
And, in return, receives supply from all. 
This genial intercourse, and mutual aid. 
Cheers w^hat were else an universal shade, 
Calls nature from her ivy-mantled den, 
And softens human rock-work into men. 
Ingenious art, with her expressive face. 
Steps forth to fashion and refine the race > 
Not only fills necessity's demand, 
But overcharges her capacious hand : 
Capricious taste itself can crave no more 
Than she supplies from her abounding store : 
Slie strikes out all that luxury can ask. 
And gains new vigour at her endless task. 
Her's is the spacious arch, the shapely spire, 
The painter's pencil, and the poet's lyre ; 

CKARxry. 129 

From her the canvass borrows light and shade, 
Aiird verse, more lasting, hues that never fade. 
She guides the finger o'er the dancing keys, 
Gives difficulty all the grace of ease, 
And pours a torrent of sweet notes around. 
Fast as the thirsting ear can drink the sound* 

These are the gifts of art ; and art thrives most 
Where commerce has enriched the busy coast. 
He catches all improvements in his flight, 
Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight. 
Imports v/hat others have invented well. 
And stirs his own to match them, or exceL 
'Tis thus reciprocating each with each, 
Alternately the nations learn and teach ; 
While Providence enjoins, to every soul. 
An union with the vast terraqueous whole- 
Heaven speed the canvass, gallantly unfurled 
To furnish and accommodate a world. 
To give the pole the produce of the sun , 
And knit th' unsocial climates into one.— 
Soft airs and gentle heavings of the wave * 

Impel the fleet whose errand is to save, 
To succour wasted regions, and replace 
The smile of opulence in sorrow's face. — 
Let nothing adverse, nothing unforeseen. 
Impede the bark that plows the deep serene, 
Charg'd with a freight, transcending in its worth 
The gems of India, nature's rarest birth. 


That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands, 

A herald of God's love to pagan lands. 

But, ah ! what wish can prosper, or what p^rayer, 

For merchants, rich in cargoes of despair, 

Who drive a loathsome traffic, gage, and span, 

And buy, the muscles and the bones of man ? 

The tender ties of father, husband, friend. 

All bonds of nature, in that moment end ; 

And each endures, while yet he draws his breath, 

A stroke, as fatal as the scythe of death. 

The sable warrior, frantic with regret 

Of her he loves, and never can forget. 

Loses in tears the far receding shore. 

But not the thought that they must meet no more ; 

Deprived of her and freedom at a blow, 

What has he left that he can yet forego i 

Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resigned, 

He feels his body's bondage in his mind ; 

Puts off his generous nature ; and, to suit 

His manners with his fate, puts on the brute. 

Oh, most degrading of all ills that wait 
On man, a mourner in his best estate ! 
All other sorrows virtue may endure, 
And find submission more than half a cure ; 
Grief is itself a medicine, and bestow'd 
T' improve the fortitude that bears the load, 
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase, 
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace ; 
But slavery ! virtue dreads it as her grave ; 
Patience itself is meanness in a slave. 

(SHARITT, 131 

Or, if the will and sovereignty of God 

Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod. 

Wait for the dawning of a brighter day. 

And snap the chain the moment when you may. 

Nature imprints upon whatever we see, 

That has a heart and life in it — Be free ! 

The beasts are chartered — neither age nor force 

Can quell the love of freedom in a horse : 

He breaks the cord that held him at the rack, 

And, conscious of an unincumbered back, 

Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein. 

Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane ; 

Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs ; 

Nor stops, till, overleaping all delays. 

He finds the pasture where his fellows graze. 


Canst thou, and honoured with a christian name, 
Buy what is woman-born, and feel no shame ? 
Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead 
Expedience as a warrant for the deed ? 
So may the wolf, whom famine has made bold 
To quit the forest and invade the fold : 
So may the ruffian, who with ghostly glide, 
Dagger in hand, steals close to your bed-side ; 
Not he, but his emergence, forc'd the door. 
He found it inconvenient to be poor. 
Has God then given its sweetness to the cane— 
Unless his laws be trampled on — in vain ? 
Built a brave world, which cannot yet subsist, 
Unless his right to rule it be dismissed ? 


Impudent blasphemy ! — So folly pleads. 
And avarice, being judge, with ease succeeds. 

But grant the plea — and let it stand for just, 
That man make man his prey because he must ; 
iStill there is room for pity to abate, 
And soothe, the sorrows of so sad a state. 
A Briton knows— or, if he know it not. 
The Scripture plac'd within his reach, he ought— 
That souls have no discriminating hue, 
Alike important in their Maker's view ; 
That none are free from blemish since the fall ; 
And love divine has paid one price for all. 
The wretch, that works and weeps without relief, 
Has One that notices his silent grief. 
He, from whose hand alone all power proceeds, 
Ranks its abuse among the foulest deeds. 
Considers all injustice with a frown ; 
But marhs the man that treads his fellow down. 
Begone ! — the whip and bell, in that hard hand. 
Are hateful ensigns of usurped command, 
Not Mexico could purchase kings a claim 
To scourge him, weariness his only blame. 
Remember, Heaven has an avenging rod — 
To smite the poor is treason against God ! 

Trouble is grudgingly and hardly brook'd, 
While life's siibllmestjoys are overlook'd : 
We wander o'er a sun-burnt thirsty soil. 
Murmuring and weary of our daily toil. 
Forget t' enjoy the paim-tree's offer *d shade. 
Or taste the fountain in the neighbouring glade : 


Else who would lose, that had the power t' improve, 

Th' occasion of transmuting fear to love ? 

Oh, 'tis a godhke privilege to sav^ ! 

And he that scorns it is himself a slave. 

Inform his mind — one flash of heavenly day 

Would heal his heart, and melt Jiis chains away. 

<* Beauty for ashes'' is a gift indeed ! 

And slaves, by truth enlarg'd, are doubly freed. 

Then would he say, submissive at thy feet. 

While gratitude and love made service sweet. 

My dear deliverer out of hopeless night, 

Whose bounty bought me but to give me light, 

I was a bondman on my native plain ; 

Sin forg'd, and ignorance made fast the chsan ; 

Thy lips have shed instruction, as the dew. 

Taught me w^hat path to shun, and what pursue ; 

Farewel, my former joys ! I sigh no more 

For Africa's once lov'd, benighted shore ; 

Serving a benefactor, I am free — 

At my best home, if not exil'd from thecr. 

Some men make gain a fountain, w^hence proceeds 
A stream of liberal and heroic deeds. 
The swell of pity, not to be confin'd 
Within the scanty Hmits of the mind. 
Disdains the bank, and throws the golden sandflt^ 
A rich deposit, on the bordering lands : 
These have an ear for his paternal call. 
Who makes some rich for the supply of all ; 
God's gift with pleasure in his praise employ, 
And Thornton is familiar with the joy. 

VOL. I, M 


Oh, could I worship aught beneath the skies 
That earth hath seen, or fancy can devise. 
Thine altar, sacred hberty, should stand. 
Built by no mercenaiy, vulgar hand, 
With fragrant turf, and flowers as wild and fair 
As ever dress'd a bank, or scented summer air ! 
Duly, as ever on the mountain's height 
The peep of morning shed a dawning light. 
Again, when evening in her sober vest 
Drew the grey curtain of the fading v/est. 
My soul should yield thee willing thanks and praise 
For the chief blessings of my fairest days : 
But that were sacrilege — praise is not thine, 
But his wlio gave thee, and preserves thee mine : 
Else I would say, and as I spake bid fly 
A captive bird into the boundless sky, 
This triple realm adores thee — ^thou art come 
From Spatta hither, and art here at home. 
We feel thy force still active, at this hour 
Enjoy immunity from priestly power, 
While conscience, happier than in ancient years. 
Owns no superior but the God she fears. 
Propitious spirit ! yet expunge a wrong 
Thy rights have sufFer'd, and our land, too lon^ 
Teach mercy to ten thousand hearts, that share 
The fears and hopes of a commercial care. 
Prisons expect the wicked, and were built 
To bind the lawless, and to punish guilt ; 
But shipwreck, earthquake, battle, fire and flood, 
Are mighty mischiefs not to be withstood j 



And honest merit stands on slippery ground. 
Where covert guile and artifice abound. 
Let just restraint, for public peace designed, 
Chain up the wolves and tigers of mankind ; 
The foe of virtue has no claim to thee — 
But let insolvent innocence go free. 

Patron of else the most despisM of men, 
Accept the tribute of a stranger's pen ; 
Verse, like the laurel, its immortal meed. 
Should be the guerdon of a noble deed ; 
I may alarm thee, but I fear the shame 
(Charity chosen as my theme and aim) 
I must incur, forgetting Howard's name. 
Blest with all wealth can give thee, to resign 
Joys doubly sweet to feelings quick as thine. 
To quit the bliss thy rural scenes bestow, 
To seek a nobler amidst scenes of w(>e> 
To traverse seas, range kingdoms, and bring home. 
Not the proud monuments of Greece or Rome, 
But knowledge, such as only dungeons teach. 
And only sympathy like thine could reach ; 
That grief, sequester'd from the public stage, 
Might smooth her feathers, and enjoy her cage ; 
Speaks a divine am.bition, and a zeal. 
The boldest patriot might be proud to feel. 
Oh that the voice of clamour and debate, 
That pleads for peace till it disturbs the state, 
Were hush*d in favour of thy generous plea — 
The poor thy clients; and Heaven's smile thy fee I 



Philosophy, that docs not dream or stray, 
Walks arm in arm with nature all his way ; 
Compasses earth, dives into it, ascends 
Whatever steep inquiry recommends. 
Sees planetary wonders smoothly roll 
Round other systems under her control. 
Drinks wisdom at the milky stream of light, 
That cheers the silent journey of the night. 
And brings, at his return, a bosom charg'd 
With rich instruction, and a soul enlarg'd. 
The treasured sweets of the capacious plan 
That heaven spreads wide before the view of man. 
All prompt his pleas'd pursuit, and to pursue 
Still him, with a pleasure always new ; 
He, too, has a connecting power, and draws 
Man to the centre of the commion cause ; 
Aiding a dubious and deficient sight 
With a new medium, and a purer light. 
All truth is precious, if not all divine : 
And what dilates the powers must needs refine. 
He reads the skies, and, watching every change, 
Provides the faculties an ampler range ; 
And wins mankind, as his attempts prevail, 
A prouder station on the general scale. 
But reason still, unless divinely taught, 
Whate'er she learns, learns nothing as she ought ; 
The lamp of revelation only shows-^ 
What human wisdom cannot but oppose- 
That man, in nature's richest mantle clad. 
And grac'd with all philosophy can add, 


TlougK fair without, and luminous within, 
Is still the progeny and heir of sin. 
Thus taught, down falls the plumage of his pride j 
He feels his need of an unerring guide, 
And knows that, faUing he shall rise no more. 
Unless the power that bade him stand, restore. 
This is, indeed, philosophy ; this, known. 
Makes wisdom, worthy of the name, his own ; 
And without this — whatever he discuss ; 
Whether the space between the stars and us. 
Whether he measure earth, compute the sea. 
Weigh sun -beams, carve a fly, or spit a flea— 
The solemn trifler, with his boasted skill, 
Toils much, and is a soiemn trifler still : 
Blind was he born, and, his misguided eyes 
Grown dim in trifling studies, bhnd he dies. 
Self-knowledge, truly learn'd, of course impliea 
The rich possession of a nobler prize ; 
For self to self, and God to man, reveaPd, 
(Two themes to nature's eye forever seal 'd) 
Are taught by rays that fly with equal pace 
From the same centre of enhghtening grace. 
Here stay thy foot ; — how copious and how clear 
Th' o'erflowing well of Charity springs here ! 
Hark ! 'tis the music of a thousand rills ! 
Some through the groves, some down the sloping hills, 
Winding a secret or an open course. 
And all supphed from an eternal source. 
The ties of nature do but feebly bind. 
And commerce partially reclaims, mankind ; 
jA 2 


Philosphy, without his heavenly guide, 
'May blow up 8elf<:onceit, and nourish pride ; 
But, wliile his province is the reasoning partf 
Has still a veil of midnight on his heart : 
*Tis truth divine, exhibited on earth. 
Gives Charity her being and her birth. 

Suppose (when thought is warm, and fancy flows, 
What will not argument sometimes suppose ?) 
An isle possessed by creatures of our kind, 
Endued with reason, yet by nature blin^. 
Let supposition lend her aid once more, 
And land some grave optician on the shore : 
He claps his lens, if haply they may see, 
Close to the part where vision ought to be ; 
But finds that, though his tubes assist the sight, 
They cannot give it, or make darkness light. 
He reads wise lectures, and describes aloud 
A sense they know not, to the wondering crowd ; 
He talks of light and the prismatic hues. 
As men of depth in erudition use ; 
But all he gains for his harangue is — Well, 
What monstrous lies some travellers will tell ! 

The soul, whose sight all-quickening grace renews, 
Takes the resemblance of the good she views. 
As diamonds, stript of their opaque disguise. 
Reflect the noon-day glory of the skies. 
She speaks of him, her author, guardian, friend, 
Whose love knew no beginning, knows no end, 



In language warm as all that love inspires ; 
And, in the glow of her intense desires, 
Pants to communicate her noble fires. 
She sees a world stark blind to what employs 
Her eager thought, and feeds her flowing joys ; 
Though wisdom hail them, heedless of her call. 
Flies to save some, and feels a pang for all ; 
Herself as weak as her support is strong, 
She feels that frailty she denied so long ; 
And, from a knowledge of her own disease, 
Learns to compassionate the sick she sees. 
Here see, acquitted of all vain pretence. 
The reign of genuine Charity commence. 
Though scorn repay her sympathetic tears. 
She still is kind, and still she perseveres ; 
The truth she loves a sightless world blaspheme— 
'Tis childish dotage, a delirious dream ! 
The danger they discern not they deny ; 
Laugh at their only remedy, and die. 
But still a soul thus touch'd can never cease. 
Whoever threatens war, to speak of peace : 
Pure in her aim, and in her temper mild. 
Her wisdom seems the weakness of a child. 
She makes excuses where she might condemn ; 
ReviPd by those that hate her, prays for them ; 
Suspicion lurks not in her artless breast ; 
The worst suggested, she believes the best ; 
Not soon provok'd, however stung and teas'd ; 
And, if perhaps made angry, soon ftppeas'd ; 
She rather waves than will dispute her right ; 
And, injured, makes forgiveness her delights. 


Such was the portrait an apostle drew ; -^ 

The bright original was one he knew ; S 

Heaven held his hand — the likeness must be true. 3 

When one, thot holds communion with the skies. 
Has fill'd his urn where these pure waters rise, 
And once more mingles with us meaner things, 
*Tis e'en as if an angel shook his wings ; 
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide, 
That tells us whenc« his treasures are supplied. 
So, when a ship, well freighted with the stores 
The sun matures on India's spicy shores, 
Has dropt her anchor, and her canvass furPd 
In some safe haven of our western world, 
*Twere vain inquiry to what port she went ; 
The gale informs us, laden with the scent. 

Some seek, when queasy conscience has its qualms. 
To lull the painful malady with alms ; 
But Charity, not feign'd, intends alone 
Another's good — theirs centres in their own ; 
And, too short liv'd to reach the realms of peace. 
Must cease forever when the poor shall cease* 
Flavia, most tender of her own good name, 
Is rather careless of her sister's fame : 
Her superfluity the poor supphes. 
But, if she touch a character, it dies. 
The seeming virtue weigh'd against the vice. 
She deems all safe, for she has paid the price : 
No charity but alms aught values she. 
Except in porcelain on her mantle -tree. 



How many deeds, with which the world has rung, 
From pride, in league with ignorance, have sprung ! 
But God o'errules all human follies still. 
And bends the tough materials to his will. 
A conflagration, or a wintry flood, 
Has left some hundreds without home or food : 
Extravagance and avarice shall subscribe, 
While fame and self-complacence are the bribe. 
The brief proclaimed, it visits every pew. 
But first the squire's — a compliment but due : 
With slow deliberation he unties 
His glittering purse — that envy of all eyes ! 
And, while the clerk just puzzles out the psalm, 
Slides guinea behind guinea in his palm ; 
Till, finding (what he might have found before) 
A smaller piece amidst the precious store, 
Pinch'd close between his finger and his thumb, 
He half exhibits, and then drops the sum. 
Gold, to be sure [—.throughout the town 'tis told 
How the good squire gives never less than gold.. 
From mxOtives such as his, though not the best> 
Springs in due time supply for the distress'd ; 
Not less effectual than what love bestows— 
Except that office clips it as it goes. 

But lest I seem to sin against a friend. 
And wound the grace I mean to recommend, 
(Though vice derided with a just design 
Implies no trespass against love divine) 
Once more I would adopt the graver style — 
A teacher should be sparing of his smile. 

148 CHARiry. 

Unless a love of virtue light the flame, 
Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame ; 
He hides behind a magisterial air 
His own offences, and strips others bare ; 
Affects, indeed, a most humane concern, 
That men, if gently tutorM, will not learn ; 
That mulish folly, not to be reclaim *d 
By softer methods, must be made asham'd ; 
But (I might instance in St. Patrick's dean) 
Too often rails to gratify his spleen. 
Most satirists are, indeed, a public scourge j 
Their mildest physic is a farrier's p urge ; 
Their acrid temper turns, as soon as stirr'd, 
The milk of their good purpose all to curd. 
Their zeal begotten, as their works rehearse, 
By lean despair upon an empty purse. 
The wild assassins start into the street, 
Prepared to poniard whomsoe'er they meet. 
No skill in swordmanship, however just, 
Can be secure against a madman's thrust ;, 
And even virtue, so unfairly match'd. 
Although immortal, may be prick'd or scratch'd. 
When scandal has new minted an old lie, 
Or tax'd invention for a fresh supply, 
'Tis call'd a satire, and the world appears 
Gathering around it with erected ears : 
A thousand names are toss'd into the crowd x 
Some whisper'd softly, and some twang'd aloud ; 
Just as the sapience of an author's brain 
Suggests it safe or dangerous to be plain. 


Strange ! how tKe frequent interjected das h 
Quickens a market, and helps off the trash ; 
Th' important letters, that include the rest. 
Serve as a key to those that are suppress'd j 
Conjecture gripes the victims in his paw, 
The world is charm'd, and Scrib. escapes the laWr 
So, when the cold damp shades of night prevail, 
Worms may he caught by either head or tail ; 
Forcibly drawn from many a close recess. 
They meet with little pity, no redress ; 
Plung'd in the stream, they lodge upon the mud. 
Food for the famish' d rovers of the flood. 

All zeal for a reform, that gives offence 
To peace and charity, is mere pretence : 
A bold remark ; but which, if well applied. 
Would humble many a towering poet's pride. 
Perhaps the man was in a sportive fit, 
And had no other play-place for his wit ; 
Perhaps, enchanted with the love of fame. 
He sought the jewel in his neighbour's shame ; 
•Perhaps — whatever end he might pursue, 
The cause of virtue could not be his view. 
At every stroke wit flashes in our eyes ; 
The turns are quick, the polish'd points surprise, 
But shine with cruel and tremendous charms. 
That, while they please, possess us with alarms : 
So have I seen, (and hastened to the sight 
On all the wings of holiday delight) 
Where stands that monument of ancient power, 
Naixi'd with emphatic dignity— the Tower, 

144 dHARITT. 

Guns, halberts, swords, and pistols, great and small. 

In starry forms disposed upon the wall. 

We wonder, as we gazing stand below, 

That brass and steel should make so fine a show I 

But, though we praise th* exact designer's skiJl, 

Account them implements of mischief still. 

No works shall find acceptance in that day 
When all disguises shall be rent away, 
That square not truly wuth the scripture plan, 
Nor spring from love to God, or love to man. 
As he ordains things, sordid in their birth. 
To be resolvM into their parent earth ; 
And, though the soul shall seek superior orbs, 
Whate'er this world produces, it absorbs ; 
So self starts nothing but what tends apace 
Home to the goal where it began the race. 
Such as our motive is our aim must be ; 
If this be servile, that can ne'er be free : 
If self employ us, whatsoe'er is wrought. 
We glorify that self, not him we ought. 
Such virtues had need prove their own reward. 
The Judge of all men owes them no regard. 
True Charity, a plant divinely nurs'd, 
Fed by the love from which it rose at firsts 
Thrives against hope ; and, in the rudest acenc. 
Storms but enliven its unfading green ; 
Exuberant is the shadow it supplies ; 
Its fruit on earth, its growth above the skies. 
To look at HIM, who form'd us and redeem'd t 
So glorious now, though once so disesteem'd j 


To see a God stretch forth his human hand, 
T' uphold the boundless scenes of his command ; 
To recollect, that, in a form like ours, 
He bruis'd beneath his feet th' infernal powers. 
Captivity led captive, rose to claim 
The wreath he won so dearly in our name ; 
That, thron'd above all height, he condescends 
To call the few that trust in him his friends ; 
That, in the heaven of heavens, that space he deems 
Too scanty for th' exertion of his beams, 
And shines, as if impatient to bestow 
Liife and a kingdom upon worms below ; 
That sight imparts a never-dying flame, 
Though feeble in degree, in kind the same. 
Like him, the soul, thus kindled from above, 
Spreads.wide her arms of universal love ; 
And, still enlarged as she receives the grace. 
Includes creation in her close embrace. 
Behold a Christian 1 — and, without the fires 
The Founder of that name alone inspires, 
Thougli all accomplishment, all knowledge meet, 
To make the shining prodigy complete, 
Whr°ver boasts that name — behold a cheat I 
Were love, in these, the world's last doting years, 
As frequent as the v^rant of it appears, 
The churches warmM, they would no longer hold 
Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold : 
Relenting forms would lose their power, or cease ; 
And e'en the dipt and sprinkled live in peace : 
yoL. I. N 


ii6 CHARIT?* 

Each heart would quit its prison in the breast, 
And flow in free communion with the rest. 
The statesman, skilPd in projects dark and deep 
Might burn his useless Machiavel, and sleep ; 
His budget, often fill'd, yet always poor, 
Might swing at ease behind his study door. 
No longer prey upon our annual rents, 
Or scare the nation with its big contents : 
Disbanded legions freely might depart, 
And slaying man would cease to be an art. 
No learned disputants would take the field. 
Sure not to conquer and sure not to yield ; 
Both sides deceivM, if rightly understood. 
Pelting each other for the public good. 
Did Charity prevail, the press would prove 
A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love ; 
And I might spare myself the pains to show 
What few can learn, and all suppose they know. 
Thus have I sought to grace a serious lay 
With many a wild, indeed, but flowery spray. 
In hopes to gain, what else I must have lost, 
Th' attention pleasure has so much engross'd. 
But if, unhappily deceived, I dream. 
And prove too weak for so divine a theme, 
Let Charity forgive me a mistake 
That zeal, not vanity, has chanc'd to make, 
And spare the poet for his subject's sake. 



Nam neq ; me tantum venientts stbtlus austrif 
Nee percuss a juvant Jiuctu tamlitoray nee qua 
SaxQsas inter deeurrunt Jlumtna valles. 

ViRG. Eel. 5. 

Jl hough nature weigh our talents, and dispense 
To every man his modicum of sense, 
And Conversation, in its better part. 
May be esteem'd a gift and not an art, 
Yet much depends, as in the tiller s toil. 
On culture, and the sowing of the soil. 
Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse, 
But talking is not always to converse ; 
Not more distinct from harmony divine. 
The constant creaking of a country sign. 
As alphabets in ivory employ. 
Hour after hour, the yet unlettered boy, 
Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee, 
Those seeds of science, call'd his A b c ; 
So language in the mouths of the adult. 
Witness its insignificant result. 


Too often proves an implement of play^ 

A toy to sport with, and pass time away. 

Collect at evening what the day brought foith. 

Compress the sum into its solid worth. 

And, if it weigh th' importance of a fly. 

The scales are false, or Algebra a lie. 

Sacred interpreter of human thought, 

How few respect or use thee as they ought 1 

But all shall give account of every wrongs 

Who dare dishonour or defile the tongue ; 

Who prostitute it in the cause of vice. 

Or sell their glory at a market price ; 

Who vote for hire, or point it with lampoon— 

The dear-bought placeman, and the cheap buffoon. 

There k it pruriance in the speech of som^. 
Wrath stays him, or else God would strike them dumb S 
His wise forbearance has their end in view ; 
They fill their measure, and receive their due. 
The heathen law-givers of ancient days, 
Names almost worthy of a Christianas praise. 
Would drive them forth from the resort of menjL 
And shut up every satyr in his den. 
Oh, come not ye near innocence and truth, 
Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth! 
Infectious as impure, your blighting power 
Taints in its rudiments the promis'd flower ; 
Its odour perish'd and its charming hue, 
Thenceforth 'tis hateful, for it smells of you* 
Not e'en the vigorous and headlong rage 
Of adolescence, or a firmer age, 

ComrEHSATION. 14jft 

AfFords a plea, allowable or just, 

For making speech the pamperer of lust ; 

But, when the breath of age commits the faulty 

'Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault. 

So withered stumps disgrace the sylvan scene. 

No longer fruitful, and no longer green ; 

The sapless wood, divested of the bark. 

Grows fungous, and takes fire at every spark* 

Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strife — 
Some men have surely then a peaceful life 1 
Whatever subject occupy discourse. 
The feats of Vestris, or the naval force, 
Asseveration, blustering in your face. 
Makes contradiction such a hopeless case : 
In every tale they tell, or false or true. 
Well known, or such as no man ever knew. 
They fix attention, heedless of your pain. 
With oaths, liko rivets, forc'd into the braini ; 
And e'en when sober truth prevails throughout, 
They swear it, till affirmance breeds a doubt. 
A Persian, humble servant of the sun, 
Who, though devout, yet bigotry had none, 
Hearing a lawyer grave in his address. 
With adjurations every word impress, 
Suppos'd the man a bishop, or at least, 
God's name so much upon his lips, a priest ; 
Bow'd at the close with all his graceful airs. 
And begg'd an interest in his frequent prayers. 
N 2 


Go, quit tlie rank to which ye stood preferr*4» 
Henceforth associate in one common herd ; 
Religion, virtue, reason, common sense, 
Pronounce your human form a false pretence ; 
A mere disguise, in which a devil lurks, 
Who yet betrays his secret by his works. 

Ye powers who rule the tongue, if such there are> 
And make colloquial happiness your care. 
Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate— 
A duel in the form of a debate. 
The clash of arguments and jar of words. 
Worse than the mortal brunt of rival swords^ 
Decide no question with their tedious length, 
(For opposition gives opinion strength) 
Divert the champions, prodigal of breath. 
And put the peaceably-dispos'd to death. 
Oh, thwart me not. Sir Soph, at every turn^ 
Nor carp at every flaw you may discern ; 
Though syllogisms hang not on my tongue, 
I am not surely always in the wrong ! 
^Tis hard, if all is false that I advance— 
A fool must now and then be right by chanoe* 
Not that all freedom of dissent I blame ; 
No — there I grant the privilege I claim. 
A disputable point is no man's ground ; 
Rove where you please, 'tis common all arounck 
Discourse may want an animated — No, 
To brush the surface, and to make it flow ; 
But still remember, if you mean to please. 
To press your point with modesty and ease* 


The mark, at which my juster aim I take. 

Is contradiction for its own dear sake. 

Set your opinion at whatever pitch, 

Knots and impediments make something hitch* 

Adopt his own, 'tis equally in vain. 

Your thread of argument is snapt again ; 

The wrangler, rather than accord with you* 

Will judge himself deceiv'd, and prove it too* 

Vociferated logic kills me quite ; 

A noisy man is always in the right — 

I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair. 

Fix on the wainscot a distressful stare. 

And, when I hope his blunders are all out, 

Reply discreetly — ^To be sure — no doubt ! 

Dubious is such a scrupulous good man- 
Yes — you may catch him tripping if you can. 
He would not, with a peremptory tone. 
Assert the nose upon his face his own ; 
With hesitation admirably slow. 
He humbly hopes — presumes — ^it may be so» 
His evidence, if he were caU'd by law 
To swear to some enormity he saw. 
For want of prominence and just relief. 
Would hang an honest man, and save a thief. 
Through constant dread of giving truth offence. 
He ties up all his hearers in suspense ; 
Knows what he knows, as if he knew it not. 
What he remembers seems to have forgot ; 
His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall, 
•Centring at last in having none at alL 


Yet though he tease and balk your listening ear. 
He makes one useful point exceeding clear ; 
Howe'er ingenious, on his darling theme, 
A sceptic in philosophy may seem, 
Reduc'd to practice, his beloved rule 
Would only prove him a consummate fool ; 
Useless in him alike both brain and speech, 
Fate having plac'd all truth above his reach, 
His ambiguities his total sum. 
He might as well be blind, and deaf, and dumb. 

Where men of judgment creep and feel their way-. 
The positive pronounce without dismay ; 
Their want of light and intellect supphed 
By sparks absurdity strikes out of pride : 
Without the means of knowing right from wrong. 
They always are decisive, clear and strong. 
Where others toil with philosophic force. 
Their nimble nonsense takes a shorter course ; 
Flings at your head conviction in the lump. 
And gains remote conclusions at a jump. 
Their own defect, invisible to them. 
Seen in another, they at once condemn ; 
And, though self-idoliz'd in every case. 
Hate their own likeness in a brother's face. 
The cause is plain, and not to be denied, 
The proud are always most provok'd by pride. 
Few competitions but engender spite ; 
And those the most, where neither has a right. 

The point of honour has been deemM of use. 
To teach good manners and to curb ubus^. 


Admit it true, the consequence is clear, 

Our polish^ manners are a mask we wear, 

And at the bottom barbarous still and rude , j 

We are restrained, indeed, but ngt subdued. 

The very remedy, however sure, 

Springs from the mischief it intends to cure, 

And savage in its principle appears. 

Tried, as it should be, by the fruit it bears. 

*Tis hard, indeed, if nothing will defend 

Mankind from quarrels but their fatal end ; 

That now and then a hero must decease. 

That the surviving world may live in peace. 

Perhaps, at last, close scrutiny may show 

The practice dastardly, and mean, and low ; 

That men engage in it compelled by force : 

And fear, not courage, is its proper source. 

The fear of tyrant custom, and the fear 

Lest fops should censure us, and fools should- sneer. 

At least to trample on our Maker's laws, 

And hazard life for any or no cause, 

To rush into a fix'd eternal state. 

Out of the very flames of rage and hate. 

Or send another shivering to the bar, 

With all the guilt of such unnatural war, 

Whatever use may urge, or honour plead, 

On reason's verdict, is a madman's deed^ 

Am I to set my Hfe upon a throw. 

Because a bear is rude and surly ? No— 

A moral, sensible, and well-bred man 

Will not affront me, and no other caiu 


Were I empower'd to regulate the lists, 
They should encounter with well-loaded fists ; 
A Trojan combat would be something new. 
Let Dares beat Entellus black and blue ! 
Then each might show, to his admiring friends. 
In honourable bumps his rich amends, 
And carry, in contusions of his skull, 
A satisfactory receipt in full, 

A story, in which native humour reigns, 
Is often useful, always entertains : 
A graver fact, enlisted on your side. 
May furnish illustration, well applied : 
But sedentary weavers of long tales 
Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails^ 
'Tis the most asinine employ on earth. 
To hear them tell of parentage and birth. 
And echo conversations, dull and dry, 
Embellished with — He said^ and, So said /• 
At every interview their route the same, 
The repetition makes attention lame ; 
We bustle up with unsuccessful speed. 
And in the saddest part, cry — Droll indeed ! 
The path of narrative with care pursue, 
Still making probability your clue ; 
On all the vestiges of truth attend. 
And let them guide you to a decent end. 
Of all ambitions man may entertain. 
The worst that can invade a sickly brain 
Is that which angles hourly for surprise, 
Aud baits its hook with prodigies and lies. 


Credulous infancy, or age as weak. 
Are fittest auditors for such to seek. 
Who to please others will themselves disgrace 5 
Yet please not, but affront you to your face. 
A great retailer of this curious ware. 
Having unloaded and made many stare, 
Can this be true ? — an arch observer cries. 
Yes, (rather moved) I saw it with these eyes ! 
Sir 1 I believe it on that ground alone ; 
I could not, had I seen it with my own. 

A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct ; 
The language plain, and incidents well hnk'd^ 
Tell not as new what every body knows ; 
And, new or old, still hasten to a close ; 
There, centring in a focus round and neat, 
Let all your rays of information meet. 
What neither yields us profit nor delight, 
Is like a nurse's lullaby at night ; 
Guy Earl of Warwick and fair Eleanore, 
Or giant-kilUog Jack, would please me more. 

The pipe, with solemn interposing pufF, 
Makes half a sen-tence at a time enough ; 
The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain, 
Then pause, and puff — and speak, and pause again. 
Such often, like the tube they so admire, 
Jmportant trifiers ! have more smoke than fire. 
Pernicious weed ! whose scent the fair annoys, 
Unfriendly to society's chief joys, 
Thy worst effect is, banishing for hours 
The sex whose presence civilizes ours ; 


Thou art, indeed, the drug a gardner wants, 
To poison vermin that infest his plants ; 
But are we so to wit and beauty blind. 
As to despise the glory of our kind. 
And show the softest minds and fairest forms 
As little mercy as he grubs and worms i 
They dare not wait the riotous abuse, 
Thy thirst -creating steams at length produce. 
When wine has given indecent language birth. 
And forc'd the flood-gates of licentious mirth ; 
For sea-born Venus her attachment shows, 
Still to that element from which she rose. 
And with a quiet, which no fumes disturb, 
Sips meek infusions of a milder herb. 

Th' emphatic speaker dearly loves t* oppose. 
In contact inconvenient, nose to nose. 
Is if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz, 
Touch'd with a magnet, had attracted his. 
His whisper'd theme, dilated, and at large, 
Proves after all a wind-gun's airy charge, 
An extract of his diary — no more, 
A tasteless journal of the day before. 
He walk'd abroad, o'ertaken in the rain 
CalPd on a friend, drank tea, stept home again, 
Resum'd his purpose, had a world of talk 
With one he stumbled on, and lost his walk. 
I interrupt him with a sudden bow, 
Adieu, dear Sir ! lest you should lose it now. 

I cannot talk with civet in the room, 
A fine puss-gentleman that's all perfume j 


The sight's enough — no need to smell a beau— 
Who thrusts his nose into a raree-show ; 
His odoriferous attempts to please 
Perhaps might prosper with a swarm of bees ; 
But we, that make no honey, though we sting, 
Poets, are sometimes apt to maul the thing. 
^Tis wrong to bring into a mix'd resort. 
What makes som.e sick, and others a'ta^mort s 
An argument of cogence, we may say, 
Why such an one should keep himself away. 

A graver coxcomb we may sometimes see, 
Quite as absurd, though not so light as he : 
A shallow brain behind a serious mask, 
An oracle within an empty cask. 
The solemn fop ; significant and budge ; 
A fool with judges, amongst fools a judgr. 
He says but little, and that little said 
Owes all its weight, like loaded dice, to lead* 
His wit invites you by his looks to come. 
But when you knock it never is at home : 
'Tis like a parcel sent you by the stage, 
Some handsome present, as your hopes presage ; 
*Tis heavy, bulky, and bids fair to prove 
An .absent friend's fidehty and love, 
But when unpack'd your disappointment groans, 
To find it stufPd with brick-bats, earth, and stones. 

Some men employ their health, an ugly trick, 
In making known how oft they have been sick, 

YOL. I. O 


And give us, in recitals of disease, 

A doctor's trouble, but without the fees ; 

Relate how many weeks they kept their bed. 

How an emetic or cathartic sped ; 

Nothing is slightly touch'd, much less forgot. 

Nose, ears, and eyes, seem present on the spot. 

Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill, 

Victorious seem'd, and now the doctor's skill ; 

And now — alas, for unforeseen mishaps ! 

They put on a damp night-cap and relapse ; 

They thought they must have died they were so bad- 

Their peevish hearers almost wish tliey had. 

Some fretful tempers wince at every touch. 
You always do too Httle or too much ; 
You speak with life, in hopes to entertain. 
Your elevated voice goes through the brain ; 
You fall at once into a lower key. 
That's worse — the drone-pipe of a humble-bee. 
The southern sash admits too strong a light, 
You rise and drop the curtain — now it's night. 
He shakes with cold — you stir the fire and strive 
To make a blaze — that's roasting him alive. 
Serve him with venison, and he chooses fish ; 
With soal — that's just the sort he would not wish*. 
He takes what he at first profess'd to loath, 
And in due time feeds heartily on both ; 
Yet still, o'erclouded with a constant frown. 
He does not swallow, but he gulps it down. 
Your hope to please him, vain on every plan. 
Himself should work that wonder, if he can"— • 


Alas ! his efforts double his distress, 
He Hkes yours Httle, and his own still less. 
Thus always teasing others, always teas'd. 
His only pleasure is — to be displeased. 

I pity bashful men, who feel the pain 
Of fancied scorn and undeserv'd disdain, 
And bear the marks, upon a blushing face, 
Of needless shame and self-impos'd disgrace. 
Our sensibilities are so acute. 
The fear of being silent makes us mute. 
We sometimes think we could a speech produce, 
Much to the purpose, if our tongues were loose ; 
But, being tried, it dies upon the lip. 
Faint as a chicken's note that has the pip : 
Our wasted oil unprofitably burns. 
Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns. 
Few Frenchmen of this evil have complain'd ; 
It seems as if we Britons w^ere ordain'd, 
By way of wholesome curb upon our pride^ 
To fear each other, fearing none beside. 
The cause, perhaps, inquiry may descry, 
Self-searching with an introverted eye, 
Conceal'd within an unsuspected part. 
The vainest corner of our own vain heart : 
Forever aiming at the world's esteem, 
Our self-importance ruins its own scheme J 
In other eyes our talents rarely shone. 
Become at length so splendid in our own, 
We dare not risk them into pubHc view, 
X.est they miscarry of what seems their dife. 


True modesty is a discerning grace, 

And only blushes in the proper place; 

But counterfeit is blind, and skulks through fear^ 

Where 'tis a shame to be asham'd t' appear : 

Humility the parent of the first ; 

The last by vanity produced and nurst* 

The circle form'd, we sit in silent state, 

Like figures drawn upon a dial-plate ; 

Yes ma'am and no ma'am, utter'd softly, show 

Every five minutes how the minutes go ; 

Each individual suffering a constraint 

Poetry may, but colours cannot, paint ; 

And, if in close committee on the sky, 

Reports it hot or cold, or wet or dry ; 

And finds a changing clime a happy source 

Of wise reflection and well-tini'd discourse. 

We next inquire, but softly and by stealth, 

Like conservators of the public health. 

Of epidemic throats, if such there are. 

And coughs, and rheums, and phthisic, and catarrh. 

That theme exhausted, a Vv^ide chasm ensues, 

Fill'd up at last with interesting news : 

Who danc'd with whom, and who are like to wed. 

And who is hang'd, and who is brought to bed j 

But fear to call a more important cause, 

As if 'twere treason against English laws. 

The visit paid, with ecstacy we come. 

As from a seven years transportation, home, 

And there resume an unembarrass'd brow, 

Recovering what we lost we know not how. 


The faculties that seem'd reduc'd to naught, 
Expression, and the privilege of thought. 

The reeking, roaring hero of the chase, 
I give him over as a desperate case. 
Physicians v^rite in hopes to v^ork a cure, 
Never, if honest ones, when death is sure ; 
And though the fox he follows may be tam'd, 
A mere fox follower never is reclaimed. 
Some farrier should prescribe his proper course, 
Whose only fit companion is his horse. 
Or if, deserving of a better doom, 
The noble beast judge otherwise, his groom. 
Yet even the rogue that serves him, though he stand 
To take his honour's orders, cap in hand, 
Prefers his fellow-grooms, with much good sense. 
Their skill a truth, his master's a pretence. 
If neither horse nor groom affect the squire, 
Where can at last his jockeyship retire ? 
Oh to the club, the scene of savage joys. 
The school of coarse good fellowship and noise; 
There, in the sweet society of those 
Whose friendship from his boyish years he chose. 
Let him improve his talent if he can. 
Till none but beasts acknowledge him a man. 

Man's heart had been impenetrably seaPd, 
Like theirs that cleave the flood or graze the field; 
Had not his Maker's all bestov/ing hand 
Given him a soul, and bade him understand j 


The reasoning power vouchsafed of course inferred 

The power to clothe that reason with liis word ; 

For all is perfect that God works on earth. 

And he that gives conception aids the birth. 

If this be plain, 'tis plainly understood. 

What uses of his boon the giver would. 

The mind, dispatched upon her busy toil, 

Should range where Providence has blest the soil ; 

Visiting every flower with labour meet. 

And gathering all her treasures sweet by sweet. 

She should imbue the tongue with what she sip»5 

And shed the balmy blessing on the lips, 

That good diffus*d, may more abundant grow, 

And speech may praise the power that bids it flow. 

Will the sweet warbler of the live-long night, 

That fills the listening lover with dehght, 

Porget his harmony, with rapture heard. 

To learn the twittering of a meaner bird. 

Or make the parrot's mimicry his choice, 

That odious libel on a human voice ? 

No — nature unsophisticate by man, 

Starts not aside from her Creator's plan J 

The melody that was at first designed 

To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind, 

Is, note for note, deliver'd in our ears. 

In the last scene of her six thousand years : 

Yet fashion, leader of a chattering train, 

Whom man for his own hurt permits to reigfi, 

Who shifts and changes all things but his shap9> 

And would degrade her votary to an ^pe. 


The fruitful parent of abuse and wrongs, 

Holds ail usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue *, 

There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace^ 

Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace, 

And, when accomplish'd in her wayward school^ 

Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool, 

*Tis an unalterable fix'd decree 

That none could frame or ratify but she, 

That heaven and hell, and righteousness and sin. 

Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within, 

God and his attributes (a field of day 

Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray) 

Fruits of his love and wonders of his might. 

Be never nam'd in ears esteem'd polite. 

That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave. 

Shall stand proscribed a madman or a knave, 

A close designer not to be believM, 

Or, if excus'd that charge, at least deceiv'd. 

Oh folly worthy of the nurse's lap, 

Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap I 

It is incredible, or can it seem 

A dream to any except those that dream. 

That man should love his Maker, and that fire. 

Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire ? 

Know then, and modesty let fall your eyes, 

And veil your daring crest that braves the skies j 

That air of insolence affronts your God, 

You need his pardon, and provoke his rod : 

Now, in a posture that becomes you mote 

Than that heroic strut assum'd before. 


Know, your arrears with every hour accrue, 
For mercy shown, while wrath is justly due. 
The time is short, and there are souls on earth, 
Though future pain may serve for present mirth. 
Acquainted with the woes that fear or shame, 
By fashion taught, forbade them once to name. 
And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest, 
Have prov'd them truths too big to be expressed : 
Go, seek on revelation's hallowed ground, 
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found ; 
Touch'd by that Power that you have dar'd to mock. 
That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock, 
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream, 
That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream. 

It happen'd, on a solemn even-tide. 
Soon after he that was our surety died. 
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclin'd, « 

The scene of all those sorrows left behind, fl 

Sought their own village, busied as they went, 
In musings worthy of the great event : 
They spake of him they lov'd, of him whose life. 
Though blameless, had incurred perpetual strife, m 

Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts, ^ 

A deep memorial graven on their hearts. 
The recollection, hke a vein of ore. 
The farther trac'd, enriched them still the more ; 
They thought him, and they justly thought him, one 
Sent to do more than he appear'd t' have done j 
T' exalt a people, and to place them high 
Above all else, and wonder'd he should die. 


Ere yet they brought their journey to an end, 
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend. 
And ask'd them, with a kind engaging air, 
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share. 
Inform 'd, he gather "d up the broken thread. 
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said. 
Explained, illustrated, and searched so well, 
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell. 
That reaching home, the night, they said, is near, 
We must not now be parted, sujourn here* 
The new acquaintance soon became a guest. 
And made so welcome at their simple feast , 
He blest the bread, but vanished at the word, 
And left them both exclaiming, 'Twas the Lord I 
Did not our hearts feel all he deign'd to say i 
Did they not burn within us by the way ? 

Now theirs was converse such as it behoves 
Man to maintain, and such as God approves : 
Their views, indeed, were indistinct and dim, 
But yet successful, being aim'dat him. 
Christ and his character their only scope. 
Their object, and their subject, and their hope. 
They felt what it became them much to feel. 
And, wanting him to loose the sacred seal, 
Found him as prompt as their desire was true, 
To spread the new-born glories in their view. 
Well — ^what are ages and the lapse of time, 
Match'd against truths, as lasting as sublime ? 
Can length of years on God himself exact. 
Or make that fiction which was once a fact ? 


No — marble and recording brass decay, 

And like the graver's memory pass away ; 

The works of man inherit, as is just, 

Their author's frailty, and return to dust ; 

But truth divine forever stands secure, 

Its head is guarded as its base is sure ; 

FixM in the rolHng flood of endless year^ 

The pillar of th' eternal plan appears, 

The raving storm and dashing vrave defies, 

Built by that Architect who built the skies. 

Hearts may be found that harbour at this hour 

That love of Christ, in all its quickening power ; 

And lips, unstained by folly or by strife, 

Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life. 

Tastes of its healthful origin, and flows 

A Jordan for th* ablution of our woes, 

O days of heaven, and nights of equal praise, 

Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days, 

When souls drawn upwards, in communion sweety 

Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat. 

Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home, 

Of dangers past and w^onders yet to come, 

And spread the sacred treasures of the breast 

Upon the lap of covenanted rest. 

What, always dreaming over heavenly things, 
Xiike angel-heads in stone with pigeon«-wings i 
Canting and whining out all day the word, 
And half the night ? fanatic and absurd ! 
Mine be the friend less frequent in his prayers, 
Who makes no bustle with his souPs affairs, 


Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day. 
And chase the splenetic dull hours away ; 
Content on earth in earthly things to shine. 
Who waits for heaven ere he becomes divine, 
Leaves saints t' enjoy those altitudes they teach, 
And plucks the fruit plac'd more within his reach* 

Well spoken, Advocate of sin and shame. 
Known by thy bleating — Ignorance thy name. 
Is sparkling wit the world's exclusive right. 
The fix'd fee-simple of the vain and Hght ? 
Can hopes of heaven, bright prospects of an hour. 
That come to waft us out of sorrow's power. 
Obscure or quench a faculty that finds 
Its happiest soil in the serenest minds ? 
Rehgion curbs indeed its wanton play, 
And brings the trifler under rigorous sway, 
But gives it usefulness unknown before, 
And, purifying, makes it shine the more. 
A Christian's wit is inoffensive light, 
A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight | 
Vigorous in age as in the flush of youth, 
*Tis always active on the side of truth ; 
Temperance and peace ensure its healthful states 
And make it brightest at its latest date. 
Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain, 
Ere life go down, to see such sights again) 
A veteran warrior in the Christian field. 
Who never saw the sword he could not wield ; 
Grave without dulness, learned without pride. 
Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd ; 


A man that would have foiPd, at their own play, 

A dozen wQuld-be's of the modern day • 

Who, when occasion juflified its use, 

Had wit as bright, as ready to produce. 

Could fetch from records of an earlier age, 

Or from philosophy's enlighten*d page, 

His rich materials, and regale your ear 

With strains it was a privilege to hear : 

Yet, above all, his luxury supreme. 

And his chief glory, was the gospel theme ; 

There he was copious as old Greece or Rome, 

His happy eloquence seem'd there at home, 

Ambitious not to shine or to excel, 

But to treat justly what he lov'd so well. 

It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, 
When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, 
Suppose themselves monopolists of sense. 
And wiser men's ability, pretence. 
Though time will wear us and we must grow old, 
Such men are not forgot as soon as eold. 
Their fragrant memory will outlast their tomb, 
Embalm'd forever in its own perfume : 
And, to say truth, though in its early prime. 
And when unstained with any grosser crime, 
Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast. 
That in the valley of decline are lost. 
And virtue with peculiar charms appears, 
Crown'd with the garland of life's blooming years j 
Yet age, by long experience well inform'd. 
Well read, well temper'd, with religion warm'd, 


That fire abated which impels rash youth, 
Proud of his speed to overshoot the truth. 
As time improves the grape's authentic juice. 
Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use, 
And claims a reverence in its shortening day, 
That 'tis an honour and a joy to pay^ 
The fruits of age, less fair, are yet more sounds 
Than those a brighter season pours around ; 
And, like the stores autumnal suns mature. 
Through wintry rigours unimpaired endure* 

What is fanatic frenzy, scorn 'd so much. 
And dreaded more than a contagious touch ? 
I grant it dangerous, and approve your fear, 
That fire is catching if you draw too near ; 
But sage observers oft mistake the flame, 
And' give true piety that odious name. 
To tremble (as the creature of an hour 
Ought at the view of an Almighty Power) 
Before his presence, at whose awful throne, 
AH tremble, in all worlds, except your own. 
To supplicate his mercy, love his ways, 
And prize them above pleasure, wealth, or praise, 
Though common sense allowed a casting voice, 
And, free from bias, must approve the choice. 
Convicts a man fanatic in th^ extrenre, 
And wild as madness in the world's esteem. 
But that disease, when soberly defined. 
Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind ; 
It views the truth with a distorted eye, 
And either warps or lays it useless by ; 
vov I, p 


'Tis narrow, selfish, arrogant, and drawj 
Its sordid nourishment from man's applause ; 
And, while at heart sin unrelinquish'd lies, 
Presumes itself chief favourite of the skies* 
Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds 
In fly-blown flesh whereon the maggot feeds, 
Shines in the dark, but, usher'd into day, 
The stench remains, the lustre dies away. 

True bliss, if man may reach it, is composed 
Of hearts in union mutually disclosM ; 
And farewell else all hope of pure delight. 
Those hearts should be reclaimed, renew'd, upright. 
Bad menj profaning friendship's hallowed name. 
Form, in its stead, a covenant of shame, 
A dark confederacy against the laws 
Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause : 
They build each other up with dreadful skill. 
As bastions set. point-blank against God's will 5 
Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt. 
Deeply resolved to shut a Saviour out ; 
Call legions up from hell to back the deed ; 
And, curst with conquest, finally succeed. 
But souls that carry on a blest exchange 
Of joys they meet with in their heavenly range, 
And with a fearless confidence make knowQ 
The sorrows sympathy esteems its own. 
Daily derive increasing light and force 
From such communion in their pleasant course, 
Feel less the journey's roughness and its length, 
Meet their opposers with united strength, 


And, one in heart, in interest, and design, 
Gild up each other to the race divine* 

B;it Conversation, choose what theme we may, 
And chiefly when religion leads the way, 
Should flow, like waters after summer showers, 
Not as if rais'd by mere mechanic powers. 
The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress'd^ 
Lives the dear thought of joys he once possess'd, 
When all his glowing language issued forth, 
With God's deep stamp upon its cun*ent worth. 
Will speak without disguise, and must impart, 
Sad as it is, 'his undissembling heart. 
Abhors constraint, and dares not feign a zeal, 
Or seem to boast a fire he does not feel. 
The song of Sion is a tasteless thing, 
Unless, when rising on ajoyful wing, 
The soul can mix with the celestial bands. 
And give the strain the compass it demands. 

Strange tidings these to tell a world who treat 
All but their own experience as deceit ! 
Will they believe, (though credulous enough 
To swallow much upon much weaker proof) 
That there are blest inhabitants of earth, 
Partakers of a new ethereal birth. 
Their hopes, desires, and purposes estrang'd 
From things terrestrial, and divinely changed, 
Their very language of a kind that speaks 
The soul's sure interest in the good she seeks. 


Who deal with scripture, its importance felt, 

As Tully with philosophy once dealt, 

And in the silent watches of the night. 

And through the scenes of toil-renewing lights 

The social walk, or solitary ride, 

Keep still the dear companion at their side ? 

No — shame upon a self-disgracing age, 

God's work may serve an ape upon a stage 

With such a jest as fill'd with hellish glee 

Certain invisibles as shrewd as he j 

But veneration or respect finds none. 

Save from the subjects of that work alone. 

The world grown old, her deep discernmeat showSj 

Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose. 

Peruses closely the true Christian's face, 

And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace^ 

Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare. 

And finds hypocrisy close lurking there, 

And, serving God herself through mere constraint, 

Concludes his unfeign'd love of him, a feint. 

And yet, God knows, look human nature through, 

(And in due time the world shall know it too) 

That since the flowers of Eden felt the blast. 

That after man's defection laid all waste. 

Sincerity towards th' heart-searching God 

Has made the new-born creature her abode. 

Nor shall be found in unregenerate souls. 

Till the last fire burn all between the pole*. 

Sincerity ! Why 'tis his only pride ; 

Weak and imperfect in all grace beside, 


He knows that God demands his heart entire, 
And gives him all his just demands require. 
Without it, his pretensions were as vain, 
As, having it, he deems the world's disdain ^ 
That great defect would cost him not alone 
Man's favourable judgment, but his own ; 
His birth -right shaken, and no longer clear, 
Than while his conduct proves his heart sincere, 
Hetort the charge, and let the world be told 
She boasts a confidence she does not hold ; 
That, conscious of her crimes, she feels instead 
A cold misgiving, and a killing dread ; 
That, while in health, the ground of her support 
Is madly to forget that life is short ; 
That sick she trembles knowing she must d'ie, 
Her hope presumption, and her faith a he ; 
That while she dotes, aiid dreams that she believes^ 
She mocks her Maker, and herself deceives, 
Her utmost reach, historical assent, 
The doctrines warpt to what they never meant ; 
The truth itself is in her head as dull 
And useless, as a candle in a skull. 
And all her love of God a groundless claim, 
A trick upon the canvass, painted flame. 
Tell her again, the sneer upon her face. 
And all her censures of the work of grace 
Are insincere, meant only to conceal 
A dread she would not, yet is forc'd to feel ; 
That in her heart the Christian she reveres. 
And while she seems to scorn him, only feara» 
p 2 


A poet does not work by square or line, 
As smiths and joiners perfect a design j 
At least we moderns, our attention less, 
Beyond th' example of our sires, digress, 
And claim a right to scamper and run wide, 
Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide. 
The world and I fortuitously met ; 
I ow'd a trifle, and have paid the debt ; 
She did me wrong, I recompensed the deed, 
And, ha\'ing struck the balance, now proceed. 
Perhaps, however, as some years have pass'd 
Since she and I conversM together last. 
And I have liv'd recluse in rural shades. 
Which seldom a distinct report pervades, 
Great changes and new manners have occur'd, 
And blest reforms that I have never heard, 
Aad she may now be as discreet and wise, 
As once absurd in all disceniing eyes. 
Sobriety, perhaps, may now be found, 
"Wliere once intoxication press'd the ground ; 
The subtle and injurious may be just. 
And he grown chaste that was the slave of lust ; 
Arts, once esteemM, may be with shame dismissed ; 
Charity may relax the miser's fist ; 
The gamester may have cast his cards away, 
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray. 
It has indeed been told me (with what weight, 
How credibly, 'tis hard for me to state) 
That fables old, that seem'd forever mute, 
R fviv'dj are ha^ening into fresh repute, 


And gods and goddesses discarded long, 

Like useless lumber, or a stroller's song, 

Are bringing into vogue their heathen train, 

And Jupiter bids fair to rule again ; 

That certain feasts are instituted now. 

Where Venus hears the lover's tender vow ; 

That all Olympus through the country roves, 

To consecrate our few remaining groves, 

And echo learns politely to repeat 

The praise of names for ages obsolete ; 

That having prov'd the weakness, it should seem, 

Of revelation's ineffectual beam, 

To bring the passions under sober sway. 

And give the moral springs their proper play, 

They mean to try what may at last be done 

By stout substantial gods of wood and stone, 

And whether Roman rites may not produce 

The virtues of old Rome for English use. 

May such success attend the pious plan. 

May Mercury once more embellish man, 

Grace him again with long-forgotten arts. 

Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts, 

Make him athletic as in days of old, 

Learn'd at the bar, in the palaestra bold. 

Divest the rougher sex of female airs. 

And teach the softer not to copy theirs : 

The change shall please, nor shall it matter aught 

Who works the wonder, if it be but wrought. 

*Tis time, however, if the case stand thus. 

For us plain folks, and all who side with us^ 


To build our altar, confident and bold, 

And say as stern Elijah said of old — 

The strife now stands upon a fair award, 

If Israel's Lord be God, then serve the Lord : 

If he be silent, faith is all a whim, 

Then Baal is the God, and worship him. 

Digression is so much in modern use, 
Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse, 
Some never seem so wide of their intent, 
As when returning to the theme they meant ; 
As mendicants, whose business is to roam. 
Make every parish, but their own, their home. 
Though such continual zig-zags in a book, 
Such drunken reelings have an awkward look, 
And I had rather creep to what is true, 
Than rove and stagger with no mark in view ; 
Yet to consult a little, seem'd no crime. 
The freakish humor of the present time > 
But now to gather up what seems dispersed. 
And touch the subject I designed at first. 
May prove, though much beside the rules of art | 
Best for the public, and my wisest part. 
And first, let no man charge me that I mean 
To clothe in sable every social scene. 
And give good company a face severe. 
As if they met around a father's bier ; 
For tell some men, that pleasure all their bent. 
And laughter all their work, is life mis-spent, 
Tlieir wisdom bursts into this sage reply. 
Then mirth is sin^ and we should always ery. 


To find the medium asks some share of wit, 

And therefore 'tis a mark fools never hit. 

But though life's valley be a vale of tears, 

A brighter scene beyond that vale appears, 

Whose glory, with a light that never fades, 

Shoots between scattered rocks and opening shades^ 

And, while it shows the land the soul desires, 

The language of the land she seeks, inspires. 

Thus touch' d, the tongue receives a sacred cure 

Of all that was absurd, profane, impure ; 

Held within modest bounds, the tide of speech 

Pursues the course that truth and nature teach 5 

No longer labours merely to produce 

The pomp of sound, or tinkle v/ithout use : 

Where'er it winds, the salutary stream. 

Sprightly and fresh, enriches every theme. 

While all the happy man possess'd before. 

The gift of nature, cr the classic store. 

Is made subser\'ient to the grand design. 

For which Heaven form'd the faculty divine* 

So, should an idiot, while at large he strays. 

Find the sweet lyre on which an artist plays. 

With rash and awkward force the chords he shakes? 

And grins with wonder at the jar he makes ; 

But let the wise and well-instructed hand 

Once take the shell beneath his just command, 

In gentle sounds it seems as it complain'd 

Of the rude injuries it late sustain'd. 

Till, tun'd at length to some immortal song, 

It sounds Jehovah's name, and pours liis praise along, 


* ' studiis Jlorens ignoltlts otu 

ViRG. Geor. Lib. 4u 

Jo. ACKNEY'D in business, wearied at that oar 

Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit no more. 

But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low. 

All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego ; 

The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade. 

Pants for the refuge of some rural shade, 

Where, all his long anxieties forgot 

Amid the charms of a sequestered spot, 

Or recollected only to gild o'er 

And add a smile to what was sweet before. 

He may possess the joys he thinks he sees, 

Lay his old age upon the lap of ease, 

Improve the remnant of his wasted span, 

And, having liv'd a trifler, die a man. 

Thus conscience pleads her cause within the breast. 

Though long rebelPd against, not yet suppressed, 

And calls a creature form'd for God alone, 

For Heaven's high purposes, and not his own \ 

Calls him away from selfish ends and aims, 

From what debiHtates and what inflan^s, 

From Cities, humming with a restless crowd, 

Sordid as active, ignorant as loud, 

Whose highest praise is that they live in vain. 

The dupes of pleasure, or the slaves of gain, 

Where works of man are cluster'd close around. 

And works of God are hardly to be found, 

To regions, where, in spite of sin and woe. 

Traces of Eden are still seen below. 

Where mountain, river, forest, field, and grove, 

Remind him of his Maker's power and love. 

'Tis well if, look'd for at so late a day. 

In the last scene of such a senseless play, 

True wisdom will attend his feeble call, 

And grace his action ere the curtain fall. 

Souls that have long despis'd their heavenly birthj 

Their wishes all impregnated with earth. 

For three-score years employed with ceaseless car« 

In catching smoke and feeding upon air, 

Conversant only with the ways of men. 

Rarely redeem the short remaining ten. 

Inveterate habits choke th' unfruitful hearty 

Their fibres penetrate its tenderest part. 

And, draining its nutritious powers to feed 

Their noxious growth, starve every better seed. 

Happy, if full of days — but happier far, 
If, ere we yet discern life's evening star, 
Sick of the service of a world that feeds 
Its patient drudges with dry chaff and weeds, 
We can escape from custom's idiot sway, 
To serve the Sovereign we ware born t' obey; 



Then sweet to muse upon his skill displayed 

(Infinite skill) in all that he has made ! 

To trace, in nature's most minute design, 

The signature and stamp of power divine. 

Contrivance intricate, expressed with ease, 

Where unassisted sight no beauty sees. 

The shapely limb and lubricated joint. 

Within the small dimensions of a point, 

Muscle and nerve miraculously spun, 

His mighty work, who speaks and it is done, 

Th' invisible in things scarce seen reveaPd, 

To whom an atom is an ample field : 

To wonder at a thousand insect forms. 

These hatch'd, and those resuscitated worms. 

New iife ordain'd and brighter scenes to share, 

Once prone on earth, now buoyant upon air. 

Whose shape would make them, had they bulk and 

More hideous foes than fancy can devise ; 
With helmet heads and dragon scales adorn'd, 
The mighty myriads, now securely scorn'd. 
Would mock the majesty of man's high birth, 
Despise his bulwarks, and unpeople earth : 
Then with a glance of fancy to survey. 
Far as the faculty can stretch away. 
Ten thousand rivers pour'd at his command 
From urns that never fail through every land ; 
These like a deluge with impetuous force. 
Those winding modestly a silent course ; 
The cloud-surmounting Alps, the fruitful vales ; 
Seas on which every nation spreads her sails ; 



The sun, a world whence other worlds driak light ; 

The crescent moon, the diadem of night ; 

Stars countless, each in his appointed place, 

Fast anchored in the deep abyss of space — 

At such a sight to catch the poet's flame, 

And with a rapture like his own exclaim, 

These are thy glorious works, thou Source of goodf 

How dimly seen, how faintly understood 1 

Thine, and upheld by thy paternal care. 

This universal frame, thus wondrous fair ; 

Thy power divine, and bounty beyond thought, 

Ador'd and prais'd in all that thou hast wrought. 

Absorbs in that immensity I see, 

I shrink abash'd, and yrt aspire to thee ; 

Instruct me, guide me to that heavenly day 

Thy words more clearly than thy works display, 

That, while thy truths my g ossei thoughts refine, 

I may resemble thee, and call thee mine* 

Oh blest proficiency ! surpassing ali 
That men erroneously their glory call, 
The recompense that arts or arms can yield, 
Tbe bar, the senate, or the tented field. 
Compared wnth this sublimest Hfe below. 
Ye kings and rulers, what have courts to show ? 
Thus studied, us'd, and consecrated thus. 
On earth what is, seems formed indeed for us ; 
Not as the plaything of a froward child, 
Fretful unless diverted and beguiPd, 
Much less to feed and fan the fatal fires 
Of pride, ambition, or impure desires, 
VOL. I. (i 



But as a scale by which the soul ascends 
From mighty means to more important ends. 
Securely, though by steps but rarely trod. 
Mounts from inferior beings up to God, 
And sees, by no fallacious light or dim, 
Earth made for man, and man himself for him. 

Not that 1 mean t* approve, or would enforce, 
A superstitious and monastic course : 
Truth is not local ; God alike pervades 
And fills the world of traffic and the shades. 
And may be fear'd amidst the busiest scenes. 
Or scom'd where business never intervenes. 
But 'tis not easy with a mind like ours, 
Conscious of weakness in its noblest powers. 
And in a world where, other ills apart. 
The roving eye misleads the careless heart, 
To limit thought, by nature prone to stray 
Wherever freakish fancy points the way ; 
To bid the pleadings of self-love be still. 
Resign our own, and seek our Maker's will ; 
To spread the page of scripture, and compare 
Our conduct with the laws engraven there ; 
To measure all that passes in the breast, 
Faithfully, fairly, by that sacred test ; 
To dive into the secret deeps within. 
To spare no passion and no favourite 8in, 
And search the themes, important above all. 
Ourselves and our recovery from our fall. 
But leisure, silence, and a mind released 
From anxious thoughts how wealth may be increased. 


How to secure in some propitious hour 
The point of interest or the post of power, 
A soul serene, and equally retired 
From objects too much dreaded or deslp'd, 
Safe from the clamours of perverse dispute, 
At least are friendly to the great pursuit. 

Opening the map of God's extensive plan, 
We find a little isle, this life of man ; 
Eternity's unknown expanse appears 
Circling around and limiting his years. 
The busy race examine; and explore 
Each creek and cavern of the dangerous shore, 
With care collect what in their eyes excels. 
Some shining pebbles, and some weeds and shells ; 
Thus laden, dream that they are rich and great, 
And happiest he that groans beneath his weight : 
The waves o'ertake them in their serious play, 
And every hour sweeps multitudes away ; 
They shriek and sink, survivors start and weep. 
Pursue their sport, and follow to the deep. 
A few forsake the throng ; with lifted eyes 
Ask wealth of heaven, and gain a real prize — 
Truth, wisdom, grace, and peace Hke that above, 
SeaPd with his signet whom they serve and love ; 
Scorn'd by the rest, with patient hope tliey wait 
A kind release from their imperfect state. 
And, unregretted, are soon snatch'd away 
From scenes of sorrow into glorious day. 

Nor these alone prefer a life recluse. 
Who seek retirement for its proper use j 


The love of change that lives in every breast. 
Genius, and temper, and desire of rest, 
Discordant motives in one centre meet, 
And each inclines its votary to retreat. 
Some minds by nature are averse to noise^ 
And hate the tumult half the world enjoys. 
The lure of avarice, or the pompous prize 
That courts display before ambitious eyes j 
The fruits that hang on pleasure's flowery stem, 
Whate'er enchants them, are no snares to them» 
To them the deep recess of dusky groves. 
Or forest where the deer securely roves, 
The fall of waters, and the song of birds. 
And hills that echo to the distant herds. 
Are luxuries excelling all the glare 
The world can boast, and her chief favourites share* 
With eager step, and carelessly arrayed,. 
For such a cause the poet seeks the shade. 
From all he sees he catches new delight, 
Pleas'd fancy claps her pinions at the sight, 
The rising or the setting orb of day, 
The clouds that flit, or slowly float away, 
Nature in all the various shapes she wears. 
Frowning in storms, or breathing gentle airs, 
The snowy robe her wintry state assumes. 
Her summer heats, her fruits, and her perfumes- 
All, all alike transport the glowing bard, 
Success in rhyme his glor^^ and reward. 
Oh nature ! whose Elysian scenes disclose 
Ills bright perfections at whose word they rose> 


Next to that Power who formM thee and sustains, 
Be thou the great inspirer of my strains. 
Still, as I touch the lyre, do thou expand 
Thy genuine charms, and guide an artless hand, 
That I may catch a fire but rarely known, 
Give useful Hght, though I should miss renown, 
And, poring on thy page, whose every line 
Bears proof of an intelligence divine, 
May feel a heart enrich *d by what it pays, 
That builds its glory on its Maker's praise. 
Woe to the man whose wit disclaims its use. 
Glittering in vain, or only to seduce. 
Who studies nature with a wanton eye, 
Admires the work, but slips the lesson by ; 
His hours of leisure and recess employs, 
In drawing pictures of forbidden joys, 
Retires to blazon his own worthless name, 
Or shoot the careless with a surer aim. 

The lover, too, shuns business and alarms. 
Tender idolater of absent charms. 
Saints offer nothing in their warmest prayers. 
That he devotes not with a zeal like theirs ; 
'Tis consecration of his heart, soul, time. 
And every thought that wanders, is a crime. 
In sighs he worships his supremely fair, 
And weeps a sad libation in despair. 
Adores a creature, and, devout in vain, 
Wins in return an answer of disdain. 
As woodbine weds the plant within her reach. 
Rough elm, or smooth grain 'd ash. or glossy beach^ 

i86 RCTfR£MENT« 

In spiral rings ascends the trunk, and lays 
Her golden tassels on the leafy sprays, 
But does a mischief while she lends a grace, 
Straitening its growth by such a strict embrace- 
So love, that clings around the noblest minds. 
Forbids th' advancement of the soul he binds ; 
The suitor's air indeed he soon improves. 
And forms it to the taste of her he loves, 
Teaches his eyes a language, and no less 
Refines his speech and fashions his address ; 
But farewel promises of happier fruits, 
Manly designs, and learning's grave pursuits j 
Girt with a chain he cannot wish to break. 
His only bliss is sorrow for her sake : 
Who will may pant for glory and excel, 
Her smile his aim, all higher aims farewel ! 
Thyrsis, Alexis, or whatever name 
May least offend against so pure a flame, 
Though sage advice of friends the most sincere 
Sounds harshly in so delicate an ear, 
And lovers of all creatures, tame or wild. 
Can least brook management, however mild. 
Yet let a poet (poetry disarms 
The fiercest animals with magic charms) 
Risk an intrusion on thy pensive mood. 
And woo and win thee to thy proper good. 
Pastoral images and still retreats. 
Umbrageous walks and solitary seats. 
Sweet birds in concert with harmonious streamaj, 
Soft airs, nocturnal vigils, and day dreams. 

Are all enchantments in a case like thine. 
Conspire against thy peace with one design, 
Sooth thee to make thee but a sur^r prey. 
And feed the fire that wastes thy powers away. 
Up — God has form'd thee with a wiser view. 
Not to be lead in chains, but to subdue, 
Calls thee to cope with enemies, and first 
Points out a conflict with thyself, the worst. 
Woman, indeed, a gift he would bestow 
When he design'd a paradise below. 
The richest earthly boon his hands afford, 
Desei*ves to be belov'd, but not ador'd. 
Post away swiftly to more active scenes. 
Collect the scattered truths that study gleans. 
Mix with the world, but with its wiser part. 
No longer give an image all thine heart ; 
Its empire is not hers, nor is it thine, 
*Tis God's just claim, prerogative divine. 

Virtuous and faithful Heberden ! wfiose skill 
Attempts no task it cannot well fulfil, 
Gives melancholy up to nature's care. 
And sends the patient into purer air. 
Look where he c®mes — in this embowered alcove— « 
Stand close conceaPd, and see a statue move : 
Lips busy, and eyes fix'd, foot falling slow, 
Arms hanging idly down, hands clasp 'd below. 
Interpret to the marking eye distress, 
Such as its symptoms can alone express. 
That tongue is silent now ; that silent tongue 
Could argue once, could jest or join the song. 


Could give advice, could censure or commend, 
Or charm the sorrows of a drooping friend^ 
Renounced alike its office and its sport, 
Its brisker and its graver strains fall short ; 
Both fail beneath a fever's secret sway, 
And, like a summer brook, are past away. 
This is a sight for pity to peruse. 
Till she resemble faintly what she^iews, 
Till sympathy contract a kindred pain, 
Pierc'd with the woes that she laments in vain. 
This, of all maladies that man infest, 
Claims most compassion, and receives the least ; 
Job felt it, when he groan'd beneath the rod 
And the barb'd arrows of a frowning God ; 
And such emollients as his friends could spare, 
Friends such as his for modern Jobs prepare. 
Blest, rather curst, with hearts that never feel. 
Kept snug in caskets of close hammered steel. 
With mouths made only to grin wide and eat,. 
And minds that deem derided pain a treat. 
With limbs of British oak, and nerves of wire, 
And wit that puppet-prompters might inspire. 
Their sovereign nostrum is a clumsy joke. 
On pangs enforced with God's severest stroke. 
But, with a soul that ever felt the sting 
Of sorrow, sorrow is a sacred thing : 
Not to molest, or irritate, or raise 
A laugh at his expense, is slender praise; 
He that has not usurp' d the name of man 
Does all; and deems too little all; he can. 


T' assuage the throbbings of the fester'd party 
And stanch the bleedings of a broken heart, 
'Tis not, as heads that never ache suppose, 
Forgery of fancy, and a dream of woes ; 
Man is a harp whose chords elude the sight. 
Each yielding harmony disposed aright ; 
The screws reversed (a task which if he please^ 
God in a moment executes with ease) 
Ten thousand thousand strings at once go loose. 
Lost till he tune them, all their power and use* 
Then neither heathy wilds, nor scenes as fair 
As ever recompensed the peasant's care. 
Nor soft declivities with tufted hillsy 
Nor view of waters turning busy mills,- 
Parks in which art preceptress nature weds. 
Nor gardens interspers'd with flowery beds, 
Nor gales that catch the scent of blooming groves. 
And waft it to the mourner as he roves, 
Can call up life into his faded eye. 
That passes all he sees unheeded by : 
No wounds like those a wounded spirit feels, 
No cure for such, till God who makes them, heals. 
And thou, sad sufferer under nameless ill, 
That yields not to the touch of human skill. 
Improve the kind occasion, understand 
A Father's frown, and kiss his chastening hand : 
To thee the day-spring, and the blaze of noon. 
The purple evening and resplendent moon. 
The stars that, sprinkled o'er the vault of night, 
Seem drops descending in a shower of light, 


Shine not, or undesir'd and hated shine, 

Seen through the medium of a cloud like thine ; 

Yet seek him, in his favour life is found, 

All bliss beside — a shadow or a sound : 

Then heaven, eclips'd so long, and this dull earth. 

Shall seem to start into a second birth ; 

Nature, assuming a more lovely face. 

Borrowing a beauty from the works of grace, 

Shall be despis'd and overlooked no more, 

Shall fill thee with delights unfelt before, 

Impart to things inanimate a voice. 

And bid her mountains and her hills rejoice ; . 

The sound shall run along the winding vales, 

And thou enjoy an Eden ere it fails. 

Ye groves (the statesman at his desk exclaims, 
Sick of a thousand disappointed aims) 
My patrimonial treasure and my pride, 
Beneath your shades your gray possessor hide, 
Receive me languishing for that repose 
The servant of the public never knows. 
Ye saw me once (ah, those regretted days 
When boyish innocence was all my praise 1 ) 
Hour after hour delightfully allot 
To studies then familiar, since forgot. 
And cultivate a taste for ancient song. 
Catching its ardour as I mus'd along ; 
Nor seldom, as propitious Heaven might send. 
What once I valued and could boast — a friend. 
Where witnesses how cordially I pressed 
His undissembling virtue to my breast ; 


Receive me now, not uncorrupt as then, 

Nor guiltless of corrupting other men, 

But vers'd in arts that, while they seem to stay 

A falling empire, hasten its decay. 

To the fair haven of my native home, 

The wreck of what I was, fatigu'd, I come ; 

For once I can approve the patriot's voice. 

And make the course he recommends, my choice j 

We meet at last in one sincere desire. 

His wish and mine both prompt me to retire. 

*Tis done — he steps into the welcome chaise. 

Lolls at his ease behind four handsome bays. 

That whirl away from business and debate 

The disencumber'd Atlas of the state. 

Ask not the boy, who, when the breeze of morn 

First shakes the glittering drops from every thorn, 

Unfolds his flock, then under bank or bush 

Sits linking cherry-stones or platting rush. 

How fair is freedom ! he was always free : 

To carve his rustic name upon a tree. 

To snare the mole, or with ilUfashion'd hook 

To draw th* incautious minnow from the brook, 

Are life's prime pleasures in his simple view, 

His flock the chief concern he ever knew— 

She shines but little in his heedless eyes. 

The good we never miss we rarely prize : 

But ask the noble drudge in state affairs, 

Escap*d from office and its constant cares, 

What charms he sees in freedom's smile expressed. 

In freedom lost so long, now repossess'd ; 


The tongue whose strains were cogent as commands, 

Rever'd at home, and felt in foreign lands, 

Shall own itself a stammerer in that cause, 

Or plead its silence as its best applause. 

He knows indeed, that, whether dress'd or rude, 

Wild without art, or artfully subdu'd. 

Nature in every form inspires delight, 

But never mark'd her with so just a sight- 

Her hedge-row shrubs, a vaiiegated store. 

With w^oodbine and wild roses mantled o'er. 

Green balks, and furrow'd lands, the stream that 

Its cooling \^po.ur o'er the dewy meads, 

Downs that .iir.ost escape th' inquiring eye, 

That melt and fade into the distant sky, 

Beauties he lately slighted as he past, 

Seem all created since he traveled iast« 

Master of all th' enjoyments he designed. 

No rough annoyance rankling in his mind. 

What early philosopiiic hours be keeps. 

How reg uar his meals, how sound he sleeps ! 

Not sounder he that on the mainmast head. 
While morning kindles with a windy red, 
Begins along look-out for distant land, 
Nor quits, till evening watch, his giddy stand, 
Then swift descending with a seaman's haste, 
Slips to his hammoc and forgets the blast. 
He chooses company, but not the squire's, 
Whose wit is rudeness, whose good breeding tires j 
Nor yet the parson's, who would gladly com.e, 
Obsequious whea abroad, though proud at home j 



Nor can he much affect the neighbouring peer, 
Whose toe of emulation treads too near ; 
But wisely -seeks a more convenient friend, 
With whom, dismissing forms, he may unbend ! 
A man whom marks of condescending grace 
Teach, while they flatter him, his proper place ; 
Who €omes when calPd, and at a word withdraws, 
Speaks with reserve, and listens with applause ; 
Some plain mechanic, who, without pretence 
To birtli or wit, nor gives nor takes offence ; 
On whom he rests well pleas' d his weary powers, 
And talks and laughs away his vacant hours. 
The tide of life, swift always in its course. 
May run in cities with a brisker force. 
But no where with a current so serene. 
Or half so clear, as in the rural scene. 
Yet how fallacious is all earthly bliss, 
What obvious truths the wisest heads may miss ; 
Some pleasures live a month, and some a year, 
But short the date of all we gather here ; 
No happiness is felt, except the true. 
That does not charm thee more for being new. 
This observation, as it chanc'd, not made. 
Or if the thought occurr'd, not duly weigh'd. 
He sighs — for, after all, by slow degrees. 
The spot he lov'd has lost the power to please ; 
To cross his ambling pony day by day, 
Seems at the best but dreaming life away ; 
The prospect, such as might enchant despair, 
He views it not, or sees no beauty there ; 

VOL. I. R 


With aching heart, and discontented looks. 

Returns at noon to billiards or to books, 

But feels, v/hile grasping at his faded joys, 

A secret thirst of his renouncM employs. 

He chides the tardiness of every post, 

Pants to be told of battles won or lost, 

Blames his own indolence, observes, though late, 

*Tis criminal to leave a sinking state. 

Flies to the levee, and, receiv*d with grace. 

Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place. 

Suburban villas, highway-side retreats. 
That dread th' encroachment of our growing street's, 
Tight boxes, neatly sash'd, and in a blaze 
With all a July sun's collected rays, 
Dehght the citizen, who, gasping there. 
Breathes clouds of dust, and calls it country air* 
Oh sweet retirement, who would balk the thought. 
That could afford retirement, or could not i 
'Tis such an easy walk, so smooth and straight. 
The second mile-stone fronts the garden gate ; 
A step if fair, and if a shower approach, 
You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach. 
There, prisonM in a parlour snug and small. 
Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall, 
The of business and his friends compressM, 
Forget their laboui^, and yet find no rest ; 
But still 'tis rural — trees are to be seen 
From every window, and the fields are green ^ 
Ducks paddle in the pond before the door. 
And what could a remoter acene show nwre ? 


A sense of elegance we rarely fhid 
The portion of a mean or vulgar mind, 
And ignorance of better things makes man. 
Who cannot much, rejoice in what he can ; 
And he that deems his leisure well bestow'd 
In contemplation of a turnpike road, 
Is occupied as well, employs his hours 
As wisely, and as much improves his powers. 
As he that slumbers in pavilions, grac'd 
With all the charms of an accomplish'd taste 
Yet hence, alas ! insolvencies ; and hence 
Th' unpitied victim of ill-judg 'd expense. 
From all his wearisome engagements freed, 
Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed. 

Your prudent grand-mammas, ye modern belles, 
Content with Bristol, Bath, and Tunbridge-wells, 
When health required it, would consent to roam. 
Else more attach'd to pleasures found at home. 
But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wife, 
Ingenious to diversify dull life, 
In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys, 
Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys, 
And all, impatient of dry land, agree. 
With one consent, to rush into the sea. — 
Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad. 
Much of the power and majesty of God. 
He swathes about the swelling of the deep, 
That shines and rests, as infants smile and sleep ; 
Vast as it is, it answers as it flows 
The breathings of the lightest air that blows ; 


Curling and whitening over all the waste, 

The rising waves obey th' increasing blast, 

Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars, 

Thunder and flash upon the steadfast shores, 

Till HE that rides the whirlwind checks the rein. 

Then all the world of waters sleeps again. — 

Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads, 

Now in the floods, dow panting in the meads. 

Votaries of pleasure still, where'er she dwells. 

Near barren rocks, in palaces, or cells, 

O grant a poet leave to recommend 

( A. poet fond of nature, and your friend) 

Her slighted works to your admiring view ; 

Her works must needs excel, who fashion'd you. 

Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride. 

With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side. 

Condemn the prattler for his idle pains, 

To waste unheard the music of his strains, 

And, deaf to all th' inr.pertinence of tongue. 

That while it courts, affronts and does you wrong, 

Mark well the finished plan without a fault. 

The seas globoge and huge, th* o'erarching vault, 

Earth's miUions daily fed, a world employ'4 

In gathering plenty yet to be enjoy 'd, 

Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise 

Of God, beneficent in ail his ways ; 

Grac'd with such wisdom, how would beauty shine ! 

Ye want but that to seem indeed divine. 

Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid, 
Force many a shining youth into the shade. 


Not to redeem his time, but his estate. 

And play the fool, but at a cheaper rate. 

There, hid in loath 'd obscurity, remov'd 

From pleasures left, but never more belov'd. 

He just endures, and with a sickly spleen 

Sighs o'er the beauties of the charming scene. 

Nature, indeed, looks prettily in rhyme ; 

Streams tinkle sweetly in poetic chime ; 

The warblings of the blackbird, clear and strong, 

Are musical enough in Thomson's song ; 

And Cobham's groves, and Windsor's green retreats, 

When Pope describes them, have a thousand sweets ; 

He likes the country, but in truth must own. 

Most likes it, when he studies it in town. 

Poor Jack — no matter who — for when I blame 
I pity, and must therefore sink the name, 
Liv'd in his saddle, lov'd the chase, the course, 
And always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse. 
Th' estate his sires had own'd in ancient years 
Wa'S quickly distanced, match'd against a peer's. 
Jack vanished, was regretted and forgot ; 
'Tis wild good-nature's never-failing lot. 
At length, when all had long suppos'd him dead, 
By cold submersion, razor, rope or lead. 
My lord, alighting at his usual place, 
The Crown, took notice of an ostler's face. 
Jack knew his friend, but hop'd in that disguiaie 
He might escape the most observing eyes, 
And whistling, as if unconcern'd and gay. 
Curried his nag, and look'd another way, 
K 2 


Convinc'd at last, upon a nearer view, 
'Twas he, the same, the very Jack he knew, 
0'ervvhelm*d at once with wonder, grief, and joy, 
He pressed him much to quit his base employ ; 
His countenance, his purs^, his heart, his hand. 
Influence and power, were all at his command : 
Peers are not always generous as well bred, 
But Granby was, meant truly what he said. 
Jack bow'd, and was obhg'd— confessed 'twas strange 
That so retir'd he should not wish a change. 
But knew no medium between guzzling beer, 
And his old stint — three thousand pounds a year. 

Thus some retire to nourish hopeless woe ; 
Some seeking happiness not found below ; 
Some to comply with humour, and a mind 
To social scenes by nature disinclin'd ; 
Some sway'd by fashion, some by deep disgust ; 
Some self-impoverish 'd, and because they mtisc ; 
But few that court retirement are aware 
Of half the toils they must encounter there. 

Lucrative offices are seldom lost 
For want of powers proportioned to the post : 
Give e'en a dunce th' employment he desires. 
And he soon finds the talents it requires ; 
A business, -v^ith an income at his heels, 
Furnishes always oil for its own wheels. 
But in his arduous enterprise to close 
His active years with indolent lepose^ 


He finds the labours of that state exceed 

His utmost faculties, severe indeed. 

'Tis easy to resign a toilsome place. 

But not to manage leisure with a grace ^ 

Absence of occupation is not rest, 

A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd. 

The veteran steed, excused his task at length. 

In kind compassion of his faiHng strength, 

And turn'd into the park or mead to graze, 

Exempt from future service all his days. 

There feels a pleasure perfect in its kind. 

Ranges at liberty, and snuffs the wind : 

But when his lord would quit the busy road, 

To taste a joy like that he has bestowed, 

He proves less happy than his favoured brute, 

A hfe of ease a diiScult pursuit. 

Thought, to the man that never thinks, may seem 

As natural as, when asleep, to dream ; 

But reveries (for human minds will act) 

Specious in show, impossible in fact, 

Those flimsy webs that break as soon as wrought. 

Attain not to the dignity of thought : 

Nor yet the. swarms that occupy the brain, 

Where dreams of dress, intrigue, and pleasure reign 5 

Nor such as useless conversation breeds. 

Or lust engenders, and indulgence feeds. 

Whence, and what are we ? to what end ordain 'd ? 

What means the drama by the world sustained ? 

Business 01 vain amusement, care or mirth, 

Divide the frail inhabitants of earth. 


Is duty a mere sport, or an employ ? 
Life an intrusted talent, or a toy ? 
Is there, as reason, conscience, scripture, say, 
Cause to provide for a great future day, ' 
When, earth's assigned duration at an end, 
Man shall be summoned and the dead attend ? 
The trumpet — will it sound ? the curtain rise ? 
And show th' august tribunal of the skies, 
Where no prevarication shall avail. 
Where eloquence and artifice shall fail. 
The pride of arrogant distinctions fall. 
And conscience and our conduct judge us all ? 
Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil 
To learned cares or philosophic toil. 
Though I revere your honourable names> 
Your useful labours and important aims. 
And hold the world indebted to your aid, 
Enrich'd with the discoveries ye have made ; 
Yet let me stand excus d, if I esteem 
A mind employed on so sublime a theme, 
Pushing her bold inquiry to the date 
And outline of the present transient state, 
And, after poising her adventurous wings. 
Settling at last upon eternal things. 
Far more intelligent, and better taught 
The strenuous use of profitable thought, 
Than ye, when happiest, and enlighten'd mosly 
And highest in renown, can justly boast. 

A mind unnerv'd or indispos'd to bear 
The weight of subjects worthiest of her case, 


Whatever hopes a change of scene inspires, 

Must change her nature, or in vain retires. 

An idler is a watch that wants both hands. 

As useless if it goes as when it stands. 

Books, therefore, not the scandal of the shelves. 

In which lewd sensualists print out themselves ; 

Nor those in which the stage gives vice a blow. 

With what success let modern manners show ; 

Nor his, who, for the bane of thousands born, 

Built God a church, and laugh'd his word to scorn. 

Skilful alike to seem devout and just. 

And stab religion with a sly side-thrust ; 

N©r those of learn'd philologists, who chase 

A panting syllable through time and space. 

Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark. 

To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's ark 5 

But such as learning without false pretence, 

The friend of truth, th' associate of sound sense, 

And such as in the zeal of good design, 

Strong judgment labouring in the scripture mine^ 

All such as manly and great souls produce. 

Worthy to live, and of eternal use : 

Behold in these what leisure hours demand, 

Amusement and true knowledge hand in hand. 

Luxury gives the mind a childish cast. 

And while she pohshes, perverts the taste ; 

Habits of close attention, thinking heads. 

Become more rare as dissipation spreads, 

Till authors hear at length one general cry> 

Tickle and entertain us, or Vv^e die. 

202 RETniEl^ENT. 

The loud demand, from year to year the same^ 
Beggars invention and makes fancy lame. 
Till farce itself, most mournfLilly jejune. 
Calls for the kind assistance of a tune ; ' 
And novels (v/itness every month's review) 
Behe their name, and offer nothing new. 
The mind, relaxing into needful sport. 
Should turn to writers of an abler sort. 
Whose wit well managed, and whose classic style> 
Give truth a lustre, and make wisdom smile. 
Friends (fori cannot stint, as some have done. 
Too rigid in my view, that name to one ; 
Though one, I grant it, in the generous breast 
Will stand advanc'd a step above the rest : 
Flowers by that name promiscuously we call. 
But one, the rose, the regent of them all) — 
Fnends, not adopted with a school-boy's haste. 
But chosen with a nice discerning taste, 
.Well born, well disciplm'd, who, plac'd apart 
From vulgar minds, ha:ve honour much at heart. 
And, though the world may think th' ingredients od^ 
The love of virtue, and the fear of God ! 
Such friends prevent what else would soon succeed, 
A temper rustic as the life we lead, 
And keep the polish of the manners clean, 
As theirs who bustle in the busiest scene *, 
For solitude, however some may rave. 
Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave, 
A sepulchre in which the living lie. 
Where all good qualities grow sick and die. 


I praise the Frenchman,* his remark was shrew'd— » 

How sweet, how passing sweet, is soHtude \ 

But grant me still a friend in my retreat, 

Whom I may whisper — solitude is sweet* 

Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside 

That appetite can ask, or wealth provide. 

Can save us always from a tedLous day, 

Or shine the dulness of still life away ; 

Divine communion, carefully enjoy' d. 

Or sought with energy, must fill the void. 

Oh sacred art, to which alone life owes 

Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close, 

Scorn'din a world, indebted to that scorn 

For evils daily felt and hardly born. 

Not knowing thee, we reap, with bleeding hands* 

Flowers of rank odour upon thorny lands. 

And while experience cautions us in vain. 

Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain. 

Despondence, self-deserted in her grief. 

Lost by abandoning her own relief. 

Murmuring and ungrateful discontent, 

That scorns afflictions mercifully meant, 

Those humours tart as wines upon the fret* 

Which idleness and weariness beget ; 

These, and a thousand plagves tliat haunt the breast. 

Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest. 

Divine communion chases, as the day 

Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey. 

♦ Bruyer«, 


Se^e Judah*s promis'd king, bereft of all, 
Driven out an exile from the face of Saul, 
To distant caves the lonely wanderer flies, 
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies. 
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice, 
Hear him, o'erwhelm'd with sorrow, yet rejoice ; 
No womanish or wailing grief has part, 
No, not a moment, in his royal heart ; 
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make, 
Suffering with gladness for a Saviour's sake ; 
His soul exults, hope animates his lays. 
The sense of mercy kindles into praise. 
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar. 
Ring with extatic sounds unheard before ; 
'Tis love like his that can alone defeat 
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet. 

Religion does not censure or exclude 
Unnumber'd pleasures, harmlessly pursu'd ; 
To study culture, and with artful toil 
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil ; 
To give dissimilar yet fruitful lands 
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands ; 
To cherish virtue in a humble state. 
And share the joys your bounty may create 5 
To mark the matchless workings of the power 
That shuts within its seed the future flower. 
Bid these in elegance of form excel, 
In colour these, and those delight the smell. 
Sends nature forth the daughter of the skies, 
To dance on earthy and charm all human eyes ; 


To teach the canvass innocent deceit, 
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet— 
These, these are arts pursu'd without a crime, 
That leave no stain upon the wing of time. 

Me poetry (or, rather, notes that aim 
Feebly and vainly at poetic fame) 
Employs, shut out from more important views, 
Fast by the banks of the slow winding Ouse ; 
Content if, thus sequester'd, I may raise 
A monitor's, though not a poet's praise. 
And while I teach an art too Httle known, 
To close life wisely, may not waste my own. 

VOL* I* 

:r F^rF. 






JOHN Gilpin was a citizen 

Of credit and renown, 
A trainwband Captain eke was he 

Of famous London town. 

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-— 

Though wedded we have been 
These twice ten tedious years, yet we 

No holiday have seen. 

To-morrow is our wedding-day 

And we will then repair 
Unto the Bell at Edmonton 

All in a chaise and pair. 

My sister and tny sister's child. 

Myself and children three, 
Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride 

On horseback after we. 

He soon replied — I do admire 

Of womankind but one. 
And you are she, my dearest dear, 

Therefore it ihall be done. 


I am a linen draper bold. 

As all the world doth know, 
And my good friend the calender 

Will lend his horse to go. 

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin — ^that's well said ; 

And, for that wine is dear, 
We will be furnish'd with our own. 

Which is both bright and clear, 

John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife ; 

O'erjoy'd was he to find 
That, though on pleasure she was bent, 

She had a frugal mind* 

The morning came, the chaise was brought| 

But yet was not allowM 
To drive up to the door, lest all 

Should say that she was proud* 

So three doors off the chaise was stay'dj 

Where they did all get in ; 
Six precious souls, and all agog 

To dash through thick and thin I 

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels. 

Were never folk so glad, , 
The stones did rattle underneath, 

As if Cheapside were mad. 

John Gilpin at his horse's side 

Seiz'd fast the flowing mane. 
And up he got in haste to ride, 

9ut soon came down again ; 


For saddle-tree scarce reachM had he, 

His journey to begin, 
When turning round his head, he saw 

Three customers come in. 

So down he came ; for loss of time. 
Although it griev'd him sore, 

Yet loss of pence full well he knew 
Would trouble him much more* 

'Twas long before the customers 

Were suited to their mind. 
When Betty screaming came down stairs— 

*< The wine is left behind h'* 

Good lack r quoth he — yet bring it me, 

My leathern belt likewise, 
In which I bear my trusty sword' 

When I do exercise. 

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul) 
Had two stone bottles found. 

To hold the liquor that she lov'd. 
And keep it safe and sound. 

Each bottle had a curling ear. 

Through which the belt he drew, 

And hung a bottle on each side, 
To make his balance true.. 

Then, over all, that he might be 

Equipp'd from top to toe. 
His long red cloak, well brush'd and neatj, 

He manfully did throw. 


Now see him mounted once again 

Upon his nimble steed, 
Full slowly, pacing o'er the stones 

With caution and good heed I 

But, finding soon a smoother road 

Beneath his well-shod feet> 
The snorting beast began to trot, 

Which galPd him in his seat. 

So, fair and softly, John he cried. 

But John he cried in vain ; 
That trot became a gallop soon. 

In spite of curb and rein* 

So, stooping down, as needs he must 

Who cannot sit upright, 
He grasp'd the mane with both his hands, 

And eke with all his might. 

His horse, who never in that sort 

Had handled been before. 
What thing upon his back had got 

Did wonder more and more. 

Away went Gilpin, neck or naught $ 

Away went hat and wig 1 — 
He little dreamt when he set out 

Of running such a rig ! 

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly 
Like streamer long and gay, 


Till loop and button failing both. 
At last it flew away. 

Then might all people well discenii 

The bottles he had slung ; 
A bottle swinging at each side. 

As hath been said or sung.^ 

The dogs did bark, the children &crean\* Jy 

Up flew the windows all j 
And every soul cried out — Well done I 

As loud as he could bawl. 

Away went Gilpin — ^who but he ? 

His fame soon spread around — 
He carries weight I he rides a race ! 

'Tis for a thousand p»und ! 

And still, as fast as he drew near, 

'Twas wonderful to view 
How in a trice the turnpike-men 

Their gates wide open threw. 

And now, as he went bowing down 

His reeking head full low. 
The bottles twain behind his back 

Were shatter^ at a blow. 

Down ran the wine into the road. 

Most piteous to be seen. 
Which made his horse's flanks to smo«k 

As they bad basted been. 


But Still he seem'd to carry weight. 

With leathern girdle brac'd ; 
For all might see the bottle necks 

Still dangling at his waist. 

Thus all through merry Islington 

These gambols he did play. 
And till he came unto the Wash 

Of Edmonton so gay. 

And there he threw the Wash about 

On both sides of the way. 
Just like unto a trundhng mop. 

Or a wild goose at play. 

At Edmonton his loving wife 

From the balcony spied 
Her tender husband, wondering much 

To see how he did ride. 

Stop, stop, John Gilpin ! — Kerens the house— 

They all at once did cry ; 
The dinner waits, and we are tirM : 

Said Gilpin— So am I ! 

But yet his horse was not a whit 

InclinM to tairy there ; 
For why ? — ^his owner had a house 

Full ten miles ofif, at Ware. 

So like an arrow swift he flew. 
Shot by an archer strong j 


So he did fly, which brings me ta 
The middle of my song. 

Away went Gilpin out of breathy 

And sore against his will. 
Till at his friend the calender's 

His horse at last stood still.. 

The calender, amaz'd to see 

His neighbour in such trim, 
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate^ 

And thus accosted him :— 

What news ? what news ? your tidings tell ;; 

Tell me you must and shall— 
Say why bare-headed you are come. 

Or why you come at all. 

Now Gilpin had a pleasant witj. 

And lav'd a timely joke ; 
And thus unto the calender 

In merry guise he spoke :— 

I came because your horse would come j 

And, if I well forebode, 
My hat and wig will soon be here— 

They are upon the road. 

The calender, right glad to find 

His friend in merry pin. 
Returned him not a single word. 

But to the house went in* 


When straight he came with hat and wig j. 

A wrg that flowM behind, 
A hat not much the worse for wear. 

Each comely in its kind. 

He held them up, and in his turn 

Thus showed his ready wit — 
My head is twice as> big a& yours. 

They therefore need^ must fit*- 

But let me scrape the dirt away 

That hangs upon your face ; 
And stop and eat, for well you may 

Be in a hungry case. 

Said John — it is my wedding-day. 

And all the world would stare. 
If wife should dine at Edmonton, 

And I should dine at Ware 1 

So, turning to his horse, he said— 

I am in haste to dine f 
^Twas for your pleasure you came here, 

You shall go back for mine. 

Ah, luckless speech and bootless boast I 

For which he paid full dear ; 
For, while he spake, a braying ass 

Did sing most loud and clear ; 

Whereat his horse did snort, as he 

Had heard a lion roar, 
And galloped off with all his might. 

As he had done before* 


Away went Gilpin, and away 
Went Gilpin's hat and wig 1 

He lost them sooner than at first—. 
For why ? they were too big ! 

Now, Mrs. Gilpin^ when she saw 

Her husband posting down 
Into the country far away, 

She puU'd out half a crown ; 

And thus unto the youth she said. 
That drove them to the Bell— 

This shall be yours when you bring back 
My husband safe and well. 

The youth did ride, and soon did meet 

John coming back amain ; 
Whom in a trice he tried to stop 

By catching at his rein j 

But, not performing what he meant, 
And gladly would have done, 

The frighted steed he frighted more. 
And made him faster run. 

Away went Gilpin, and away 
Went post-boy at his heels !— 

The post-boy's hoarse right glad to mis* 
The lumbering of the wheels. 

Six gentlemen upon the road. 

Thus seeing Gilpin fly. 
With post-boy scampering in the rear. 
They rais'd the hue and cry :— 


Stop thief! stop thief! — a highwayman I 
Not one of them was mute ; 

And all and each that pass'd that way- 
Did join in the pursuit. 

And now the turnpike gates again 

Flew open in short space ; 
The toll-men thinking as before, 

That Gilpin rode a race. 

And so he did — and won it too ! 

For he got first to town ; 
Nor stopp'd till where he had ^ot up 

He did again get down* 

Now let us sing — long live the king. 
And Gilpin, long live he ; 
And, when he next doth ride abroad, 
May I be there to see ! 





Ne commonentem recta sperne. 


Despise not my good counsel. 

HE who sits from day to day 

Where the prison'd lark is hung, 
Heedless of his loudest lay, 

Hardly knows that he has sung. 




Where the watchman in his round 
Nightly Hfts his voice on high. 

None, accustomM to the sound. 
Wakes the sooner for his cry. 

So your Verse-man I, and Clerk, 

Yearly in my song proclaim 
Death at hand — yourselves his mark-** 
And the foe's unerring aim* 

Duly at my time I come, 

Publishing to all aloud — 
Soon the grave must be your home. 

And your only suitj a shroud. 

But the monitory strdn. 

Oft repeated in your ears, 
Seems to sound too much in vain, 

W^ins no notice, wakes no fears. 

Can a truth, by aH confessed, 
Of such magnitude and weighty 

Grow, by being oft expressed, 
Trivial as a parrot's prate i 

Pleasure's call attention wins. 

Hear it often as we may ; 
New as ever seem our sifis, 

Though committed every day. 

Death and Judgment, Heav'n and Hell- 
These alone, so often heard, 

No more move us than the bell. 
When some stranger is interr'd. 


Oh then, ere the turf or tomb 

Cover us from every eye, 
Spint of instruction, come, 

Make us karn that we must die ! 


or HOKEH.. 

KINSMAN beloved, and as a son by me ! 
When I behold this fruit of thy regard, 
The sculptur'd form of my old favorite Bard J 

I reverence feel for him, and love for thee. 

Joy too, and grief, much joy that there should be 
Wise men, and learn'd, who grudge not to reward 
With some applause my bold attempt, and hard, 

Which others scorn. Critics by courtesy ! 

The grief is this, that sunk in Homer's mine^ 
I lose my precious years, now soon to fail ! 

Handhng his gold, which, howsoe'er it shine, 

Proves dross when balanced in the Christian scale. 

Be wiser thou, like our forefather Donne ; 
Seek heavenly wealth, and work for God alone !: 





THAT ocean you of late suFvey'd, 

Those rocks I too have seen, 
But I, afflicted and dismay *d. 

You, tranquil and serene- 

You, from the flood-controlling stecpf 
Saw stretched before your view, 

With conscious joy the threatening deepj^ 
No longer such to you. 

To me the waves that ceaseless broks 

Upon the dangerous coast. 
Hoarsely and ominously spoke 

Of all my treasure lost. 

Your sea of troubles you have past, 
And found the peaceful shore ; 

I, tennpest toss'd, and wreck'd atlast> 
Come home to port no more% 


WHAT is there in the vale of life^ 
Half so dehghtful as a wife, 
When friendship, love, and peace combine 
To stamp the marriage bond divine ? 
The stream of pure and genuine love 
Derives its current frqm above ; 


And eartlvi second Eden shows, 
Where'er the healing water flows. 
But ah ! if from the dykes and drains 
Of sensual nature's feverish veins, 
Lust, like a lawless headstrong flood. 
Impregnated with oose and mud, 
Descending fast on every side. 
Once mingles with the sacred tide, 
Farewel the soul-enlivening scene ! 
The banks that wore a smiling green. 
With rank defilement overspread, 
Bewail their flowery beauties dead. 
The stream polluted, dark and dull. 
Diffused into a stygian pool, 
Through life's last melancholy years 
Is fed with ever flowing tears. 

Complaints supply the zephyr's part. 
And sighs that heave a breaking heart. 



TEARS flow and cease not, where the good man 

Till all who knew him follow to the skies. 
Tears therefore fall where Chester's ashes sleep, 
Him, wife, friends, brothers, children, servants, 

weep — 

And justly few shall ever him transcend 

As husband, parent, brother, master, friend. 
s 2 




LAURELS may flourish round the conqu<^ror'a^ 

But happiest they^ who wm the world to come :. 
Behevers have a silent field to fight, 
And their exploits are veil'd from human sight. 
They in some nook where Httle known they dwell,, 
Kneel, pray in faith, and rout the hosts of hell : 
Eternal triumphs crown their toils divine, 
A ad all those triumphs, Mary, now are thine,. 


On his translating^ the Aiithor^s Sojig- on a Ros& 
into Italian Verse* 

MY Rose, Gravina, blooms anew^ 
And steep'd not now in rain, 

But in Castalian streams by you^ 
Will never fade again. 


Fcr a Stone erected at the soxving of a Grove of 
Oaks^ at Chtlltngton^ the seat of Thomas 
afford, Esq. 1790. 

OTHER stones the era tell 
When some feeble mortal fell. 

tNSCRlPTlON.. 221 

i Stand here to date the birth 
Of these hardy sons of earth. 

Which shall longest brave the sky^ 
Storm and frost ? — these oaks or I i 
Pass an age or two away, 
I must moulder, and decay, 
But the years that crumble me 
Shall invigorate the tree, 
Spread the branch, dilate its size^, 
Lift its summit to the skies. 

Cherish honour, virtue, truth !: 
So shalt thou prolong thy youth :: 
Wanting these, however fast 
Man be lixt, and form'd to last, 
He is lifeless even now, 
Stone at heart,,and cannot grow.. 


For a Hermitage in the Authors Garden^ 

THIS, cabin, Mary, in my sight appears,. 
Built as it has been in our waning years> 
A rest afforded to our weary feet, 
Preliminary to-^—the last retreat. 



Cn the late indecent Liberties taken with the Re- 
mains of the ^reat Milton. Anno 1790. 

ME too, perchance, in future days^ 
The sculptur'd stone shall show. 

With Paphian Myrtle, or with Bay^ 
Parnassian, on my brow. 

But I, or ere that season come, 

Escap'd from every care. 
Shall reach my refuge in the tomb. 

And sleep securely there.* 

So sang in Roman tone and style. 

The youthful Bard, ere long 
Ordain'd to grace his native isle 

With her sublimest song. 

Who then but must conceive disdain. 

Hearing the deed unblest 
Of wretches who have dar'd profane 

His dread sepulchral rest. 

Ill fare the hands that heav'd the stones 

Where Milton's ashes lay, 
That trembled not to grasp his bones. 

And steal his dust away. 

* FarsifMfj et nostros ducat de marmore Z'uhui 
Nectem nut Pafhiamyrti aut Jfarnasside Jauri 
Fronds comas — /^/ fgo ifcura face quiescam, M I LTOV, 


On ill-requited Bard I neglect 
Thy living worth repaid, 

And blind idolatrous respecc 
As much affronts thee dead. 


Founded on a Factywhich happened in yanuary^ 

WHERE H umber pours his rich commercial stream 

There dwelt a wretch who breathed but to blaspheme* 

In subterraneous caves his life he led, 

Black as the mine in which he wrought for bread* 

When on a day, emerging from the deep, 

A Sabbath-day ! (such Sabbaths thousands keep ! } 

The wages of his weekly toil he bore 

To buy a cock — whose blood might win him more ; 

As if the noblest of the fcather'd kind 

V/ere but for battle and for death design'd j 

As if the consecrated hours were meant 

For sport, to minds on cruelty intent ; 

It chanc'd (such chances Providence obey !) 

He met a fellow labourer on the way, 

Whose heart the same desires had once inflam'd; 

But now the savage temper was reclaimed. 

Persuasion on his lips had taken place ; 

For all plead well who plead the cause of Grace t 

His iron heart with scripture he assail'd, 

Woo'd him to hear a sermon, and prevailed ^ 

224 A. TALC» 

His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew, 

Swift, as the lightning-glimpse the arrow Aevv ; 

He wept ; he trembled ; cast his eyes around, 

To find a worse than he ; but none he found. 

He felt liis sins, and wonder'd he should feel ; 

Grace made the wound, and Grace alone could heal S 

Now farewel oaths and blasphemies, and lies I 
He quits the sinner's, for the martyr's prize. 
That holy day was wash'd with many a tear, 
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear. 
The next, his swarthy brethren of the mine 
Learn'd by his alter'd speech the change divine 4 
Laugh'd when they should have wept, and swore the 

Was nigh, when he would swear as fast as they. 
<< No*' — said the Penitent : — <* Such words shall share; 
This breath no more ; devoted now to prayer. 
Oh 1 if Thou seest, (thine eye the future sees !) 
That I shall yet again blaspheme like these ; 
Now stiike me to the ground, on which I kneel^ 
Ere yet this heart relapses into steel ; 
Now take me to that Heaven, I once defiedj 
Thy presence, thy embrace !"— He spoke and died.!: 


IN Scotland's realm,'where trees are few^ 

Nor even shrubs abound ; 
But where, however bleak the view. 

Some better things are found :. 

A TALE* 225 

OFor husbandthere, and wife may boast 

Their union undefiPd ! 
And false ones are as rare almost. 

As hedge-rows in the wild : 

In Scotland's realm, forlorn and bare, 

This history chanc'd of late— 
This history of a wedded pair, 

A Chaffinch and his mate. 

Tte spring drew near, each felt a bre^at 

With genial instinct fill'd ; 
They pair'-d, and only wish'd a nest. 

But found not where to build. 

The heaths uncover'd, and the moors, 

Except with snow and sleet ; 
,fiea-beaten rocks and naked shores 

Could yield them no retreat t 

Xiong time a breeding -place they sought, 
Till both grew vex'd and tir'd ; 

At length a ship arriving, brought 
The good so long desir'd. 

A ship ! — Could such a restless thing. 

Afford them place to rest ? 
Or was the merchant charg'd to bring 

The homeless birds a nest ? 

Hush ! — Silent hearers profit most !— 

This racer of the sea 
IProv'd kinder to them than the coast ; 

It servM them with a tree. 



But such a tree ! 'twas shaven deal, 
1 he tree they call a mast ; 

And had a hollow with a wheel, 

Through which the tackle pass'd. 

Within that cavity aloft 

Their roofless home they fixt ; 
Form'd with materials neat and soft. 

Bents, wool, and feathers mixt. 

Four ivoiy eggs scon pave its iloor. 
With russet specks bedight :— 

The vessel weighs — forsakes the shore, 
And lessens to the sight. 

The mother bird is gone to sea, 

As she had chang'd her kind ; 

But goes the mate i Far wiser he 
Is doubtless left behind. 

No ! — Soon as from ashore he savf 
The winged mansion move ; 

He flew to reach it, by a law 
Of never-failing love ! 

Then perching at his consort^s side^ 
Was briskly borne along ; 

The billows and the blasts defied, 
And cheer 'd her with a song. 

The seaman, with sincere delight. 
His featherM shipmate eyes. 

Scarce less exulting in the sight. 
Than when he tows a prize. 


For seamen much believe in signs, 
And from a chance so new 

Each some approaching good divines, 
And may his hopes be true ! 

Hail ! honoured land ! a desert, where 
Not even birds can hide ; 

Yet parent of this loving pair. 

Whom nothing could divide. 

And ye, who rather than resign 

Your matrimonial plan, 
Were not afraid to plough the brine, 

In company with man. 

To whose lean country, much disdain 
We English often show; 

Tet from a richer, nothing gain 
But wantonness and wo. 

Be it your fortune, year by year. 
The same resource to prove ; 

And may ye, sometimes landing here, 
Instruct us how to love 1 


[a brief fragment of an extensive projec- 
ted POEM.] 

*^I COULD be well content, allow'd the use 
Of past experience, and the wisdom gkan'd 

VOL, I. T 



From worn-out follies, now acknowledged such^ 
To recommence life's trial, in the hope 
Of fewer errors, en a second proof!" 

Thus, while grey evening lull'd the wind, and call'd 
Fresh odours from the shrubber\' at my side^ 
Taking my lonely winding walk I mus'd, 
And held accustom'd conference with my heait; 
When from within it thus a voice replied. 

^* Could'st thou in truth ? and art thou taiio-ht at 


This wisdom, and^Dut this from all the past i 
Is not the pardon of thy lofig srr^ar, 
Time wasted, violated laws, abuse 
Of talents, judgments, mercies, better far 
Than opportunity vouchsnf'd to err 
With less excuse, and haply, worse effect ?" 

I heard, and acquiesc'd ; then to and fro 
Oft pacing, as the mariner his deck, 
My gravelly bounds, from self to human kind 
I passM, and next consider'd — "Wliat is Man ? 

Knows he his origin r-r-can he ascend 
By reminiscence to iiis earliest date ? 
Slept he in Adam ? and i a those from him 
Through numerous generations, till he found 
At length his destined moment to be bom ? 
Or was he not till fashion'd in the womb ? 
^Deep mysteries both 1 which schoolmen' much haTe 

'^' unriddle, and have left them mysteries st-iL 

TO A NIG » T I N GA L E .. 229 

It is an evil incident to man,. 
And of the worst, that unexplored he lea.veS' 
Truths useful, and attainable with ease,. 
To search forbidden deeps, where mystery lies 
Not to be solvM, and useless if it might. 
Mysteries are food for angels ; they digest 
With ease, and find them nutriment ; but man, 
White y^t he d%vells below, must stoop to glean' 
His manna from the ground, or starve, and die,^ 

TO THE nightingale; 

Which the Author heard sin^* on New-Tear'* s 
day, 1792. 

WHENCE is it, that amaz'd I hear 

From yonder withered spray, 
This foremost morn of all the year, 

The melody of May. 

And' why, since thousands would be proud 

Of such a favour shewn, 
Am I selected from the crowd. 

To witness it alone ! 

Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me 

For that I also long 
Have practis'd in the groves like thee^ 

Though not like thee in song I 


Or sing'st thou rather under force 
Of some divine command. 

Commissioned to presage a course 
Of happier days at hand ? 

Thrice welcome, then ! for many a long 
And joyless year have I, 

As thou to day, put forth my song 
Beneath a wintry sky. 

But .thee no wintry skies can harm, 
Who only need'st to sing, 

To make e'en January charm. 
And every season spring. 


On his arrival at Cambridge xvet^ when no rain 
had fallen there. 

IF Gideon's fleece, which drench'd with dew he found. 

While moisture none refreshed the herbs around, 
Might fitly represent the Church, endow'd 
With heavenly gifts, to heathens not allow'd ; 
In pledge, perhaps, of favours from on high. 
Thy locks were wet, when other locks were dry. 
Heaven grant us half the omen ! may we see 
Not drought on others, but much dew on thee \ 



Weston^ June 20, 1793. 

DEAR architect of fine chateaux in alr^ 
Worthier to stand forever if they could, 
Than any built of stone or yet of wood, 

For back of royal elephant to bear ! 

Oh for permission from the skies to share, 
Much to thy own, though little to thy good, 
With thee (not subject to the jealous mood) 

A partnership of literary ware 1 

But I am bankrupt now ; and doom'd henceforth 
To drudge in descant dry, on others' lays ; 
Bards, I acknowledge, of unequall'd worth ! 

But what is commentator's happiest praise I 

That he has furnish'd lights for other eyes. 
Which they who need them use, and then despise. 


On receiving from her a Net-xvork Purse made 
by herself. 

MY 'gentle Anne, whom heretofore, 
When I was young, and thou no more 
Than plaything for a nurse, 
T 2 


I danc'd and fondled on my knee, 
A kitten both in size and glee ! 

I thank thee for my Purse. ^^^ 

Gold pays the worth of all things here ; 
But not of love j — that gem's too dear 

For richest rogues to win it ; 
I, therefore, as a proof of love, 
Esteem thy present far above 

The best things kept within it. 



A Patdi'Xvork Counterpane of her own making. 

THE Bard, if e'er he feel at all. 
Must sure be quicken'd by a call. 

Both on his heart and head. 
To pay with tuneful thanks the care 
And kindness of a lady fair, 

Who deigns to deck his bed. 

A bed like this, in ancient time. 
On Ida's barren top sublime 

(As Homer's epic shows) 
Compos'd of sweetest vernal flowers^ 
Without the aid of sun or showers, 

For Jove and Juik) rose. 

TO MRS. KING. 233 

Less beautiful, however gay. 

Is that which in the scorching day- 
Receives the weary swain ; 

Who, laying his long scythe aside, 

Skeps on some bank, with daisies pied. 
Till rous*d to toil again. 

What labours of the loom I see ! 
Looms numberless have groan'd for me ^ 

Should every maiden come 
To scramble for the patch, that bears 
The impress of the robe she wears. 

The bell would toll for some. 

And 1 what havoc would ensue I 
This bright display of every hue 

All in a moment fled ! 
As if a storm should strip the bowers 
Of all their tendrils, leaves, and flowers^ 

Each pocketing a shred. 

Thanks then to every gentle fair. 
Who will not come to pick me bare 

As bird of borrowed feather ; 
And thanks to one, above them all. 
The gentle Fair of Pirtenhall, 





THIS Cap, that so stately appears. 

With ribbon-bound tassel on high. 
Which seems by the crest that it rears 

Ambitious of brushing- the sky : 
This Cap to my cousin I owe, 

She gave it, and gave me beside, 
WreathM into an elegant bow. 

The Ribbon with which it is tied. 

This wheel-footed studying chair. 

Contrived both for toil and repose^ 
Wide-elbow'd and wadded with hair. 

In which I both scribble and doze, 
Bright studded to dazzle the eyes. 

And rival in lustre of that, 
In which, or astronomy lies, 

Fair Cassiopeia sat. 

These carpets, so soft to the foot, 

Caledonia's traffic and pride ! 
O spare them, ye Knights of the Boot ! 

Escap'd from a cross country ride ! 
Tliis table and mirror within, 

Secure from colHsion and dust, 
At which I oft shave cheek and chin, 

And periwig nicely adjust. 


This moveable structure of shelves, 

For its beauty admir'd and its use. 
And charged with octavos and twelves 

The gayest I had to produce, 
Where, flaming in scarlet and gold. 

My poems enchanted I view. 
And hope, in due time, to behold 

My Iliad and Odyssey too. 

This China, that decks th' alcove, 

Which here people call a beaufette. 
But what the gods call it above. 

Has ne'er been reveaPd to us yet : 
These curtains, that keep the room warm 

Or cool, as the season demands ; 
Those stoves, that for pattern and form^ 

Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands* 

All these are not half that I owe 

To one from our earliest youth. 
To me ever ready to show 

Benignity, friendship, and truth 5 
For Time, the destroyer declared. 

And foe of our perishing kind. 
If even her face he has spared. 

Much less could he alter her mind. 

Thus corapassM about with the goods 

And chattels of leisure and ease, 
I indulge my poetical moods 

In many such fancies as these ; 

236 SONNET*. 

And fancies I fear they will seem,- 
Poets' goods are not often so fine ; 

The poets will swear, that I dream, 
When I sing cf the splendour of mine. 




MYSTERIOUS are his ways, whose power 

Brings forth that unexpected hour, 

When minds, that never met before, 

Shall meet. Unite, and part no more : 

It is th' allotment of the skies. 

The hand of the supremely wise, 

That guides and governs our affections>^ 

And plans and wders out connections* 


MARY ! I want a lyre with other strings ; 
Such aid from heaven, as some have feign'd they drew ! 
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new, 
Andundebas'd by praise of meaner things ! 
That ere through age or wo I shed my wings,, 
I may record thy worth, with honour due, 
in verse as musical as tiiou art true. 
Verse, that immoitalizes whom it sings I- 


But thou hast little need : There is a book^ 
By-feraphs writ, with beams of heavenly Hght, 
On which the eyes of God not rarely look j 
A chronicle of actions, just and bright 1 

There all thy deeds, mytfaithful Mary, shine, 
And since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine. 



THOUGH once a puppy, and though Fop by name^ 

Here moulders one, whose bones some honour claim ; 

No sycophant, although of spaniel-race ! 

And though .no hound, a martyr to the chase ! 

Ye squirrels, rabbits, leverets, rejoice ! 

Your haunts no longer egho to his voice. 

This record of his fate exulting view ! 

He died warn out with vain pursuit of you. 

*' Yejs !" th' indignant shade of Fop replies, 
." And, worn with vain pursuit, Man also dies.'^ 


.ROMNEY ! expert, infalhble to trace, 
On chart or canvas, not the form alone. 
And 'semblance, but, however faintly shewn, 
The mind's impression too on every face, 


With strokes that time ought never to erase : 
Thou hast so penciPd niine, that though 1 own 
The subject worthless, 1 have never known 
The artist shining with superior grace. 

But this 1 nriirk, that symptoms none of wo, 
In thy incomparable work appear : 
Well ! I am satisfied it should be so. 
Since, on maturer thought, the cause is clear ; 

For in my looks what sorrow could^st thou see, 
While I was Hayley's guest, and sat to thee ? 



AUSTIN ! accept a grateful verse from me ! 
The Poet's treasure 1 no inglorious fee 1 
XiOv*d by the Muses, thy ingenuous mind 
Pleasing requital in a verse may find ; 
Verse oft has dash'd the scythe of Time aside 
Immortalizing names which else had died ! 

jAnd oh 1 could I command the glittering wealth. 
With which sick kings are glad to purchase health ; 
Yet, if extensive fame, and sure to live, 
Were in the power of verse like mine to give, 
I would not recompense his art with less. 
Who, giving Mary healthy heals my distress. 


Friend of my friend ! I love thee, though unknown, 
And boldly call thee, being his, my own. 



'On her Marriage to George Courteney, Esq* 

BELIEVE it or not, as you choose, 

The doctrine is certainly true, 
That the future is known to the muse. 

And poets are oracles too^ 

I did but express a desire 

To see Catharina at home. 
At the side of my friend George's fire. 

And lo ! she is actually come. 

And such prophecy some may despise ; 

But the wdsh of a poet and friend 
Perhaps is approved in the skies, 

And therefore attains to its end. 

'Twas a wish, that flew ardently forth, 

From a bosom effectually warm'd 
With the talents, the graces, and worth 

Of the person, for whom it was form*d. 

Maria would leave us, I knew, 

To the grief and regret of us all ; 
But less to our grief, could we view 
Catharina the queen of the hall. 
YOL. 1. u 



And therefore, I wish'd as I did. 
And therefore, this union of hands 

Not a whisper was heard to forbid^ 
Ei:t a" Cfy ameft to the bands. 

Since, therefore, I seem to incur 
No danger of wishing in vain, 

When making good wishes for her, 
I will e*en to my wishes again. 

With one I have made her a wife. 
And now I will try with another^ 

Which I cannot suppress for my life. 
How soon I can make her a mother. 


THE twentieth year is well nigh past. 

Since first our sky was overcast, 

Ah would that this might be the last ! 

My Mary i 
Thy spirits have a fainter flow, 
I see thee daily weaker grow — 
^Twas my distress that brought thee low. 

My Mary i 

Thy needles, once a shining store 1 

For my sake restless heretofore ; 

Now rust disus'd, and shine no more, 

My Mary! 

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfill 

The same kind office for me still. 

Thy sight now secopds not thy will, 

My Mary 4 

TO MAfe.Y. 

But well thou play'dst the haswifc's part; 
And all thy threads with magic art 
Have wound themselves about this heart. 

My Mary ! 
Thy indistinct expressions seem 
X.ike language uttered in a dream ; 
Yet me they char^n, vvhate'ar the theme, 

My Mary I 

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright ! 
Are still more lovely in my sight 
Than golden beams of orient light, 

My Mary l- 

Vov could I view nor them- nor thee. 
What sight worth seeing could I see ? 
The sun would rise in vain for me. 

My Mary I 

Partaker* of thy sad decline. 

Thy hands their little force resign ; 

Yet, gently prest, press gently mine. 

My Mary I 

Such feebleness of limbs thou piov'st 
That now, at every step thou mov'st 
Upheld by two, yet still thou lov'st, 

My Mary ! . 

And still to love, though prest with ill, 
In wintry age to feel no chill, 
With me, is to be lovely still. 

My Mary ! 


But ah ! by constant heed I know, 
1 low oft the sadness that I show, 
Transforms thy sniik^ to looks of wa, 

My Mary } 
AvA jrhor.ld my future lot be cast 
With much resemblance of the past, 
Thv worn cut heart will break at last, 

Mv Marv > 


OBSCUREST night involv'd the $ky^ 
Th* Atlantic billowe roar'd, 

When puch a destin'd wretch as I, 
Washed headlong from on board'. 

Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, 

His floating home forever left. 

No braver cltitf could Albion beast 
Than lie with whom he went, 

Nor ever ship left Albion's coast, 
Vvith warmer wishes sent. 

He lov'd them both, but both in vain, 

Nor him beheld, nor her again. 

Not long beneath the *\vhelm.lng brine. 

Expert to swim, he lay ; 
Nor soon he felt his strength decline, 

Or courage die away ; 
But wag'd with deatli a lasting strifev 
Supported by dcspar of life. 


He shouted ; nor his friends had faiPd 

To check the vessePs course. 
But so the furious blast prevailed. 

That, pitiless perforce, 
They left their out-cast mate behind. 
And scudded still before the wind. 

Some succour yet they could afford ; 

And such as storms allow, 
The cask, the coop, the floated cord 

Delay'd not to bestow. 
But he (they new) nor ship, nor shore^ 
Whatever they gave, should visit more. 

Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he. 

Their haste himself condemn. 
Aware that flight, in such a sea. 

Alone could rescue them : 
Yet bitter felt it still to die 
Deserted, and his friends so nigh. 

He long survives, who lives an hour 

In ocean, self-upheld i 
And so long he, with unspent power. 

His destiny repell'd : 
And ever, as the minutes flew. 
Entreated help, or cried — " Adieu P^ 

At length, his transient respite past. 
His comrades, who before 
V 2 



Had heai'd his voice in every blast, 
Could catch the sound no more. 
For then by toil subdu'd, he drank 
The stifling wave, and then he sank,. 

No poet wept him ; but the page 

Of narrative sincere, 
That tells his name, his worth, his age^ 

Is wet with Anson's tear. 
And tears, by bards or heroes shed,. 

Alike immortalize the dead. 

I thercFore purpose not, or dream, 

Descanting on his fate, 
To give the melancholy theme 

A more enduring date. 
But misery still delights to trace 
Its 'semblance in another's case. 

"No voice divine the storm allay 'd. 

No light propitious shone ; 
When snatch'd from all effectual aid^ 

We perish'd each alone ; 
But I beneath a rougher sea, 
And 'whelmM in deeper gulfs than he> 


Composed for a memorial cf Ashley Cowper,. 
Esq. imyncdiately after his death^ by his 
Nephexv William ^Weston.. 
JAREWELL ! endued with alt that cpuld engage- 
All hearts to love thee, both in youth and age 1 . 


In prime of life, for sprightliness enroird' 
Among the gay, yet virtuous as the old ; 
In life's last stage (Oh blessing- rarely found !) 
Pleasant as youth, with all its blossoms crownM ^ 
Through every period of this changeful state^'d thyself! wise, good, affectionate I 

Marble may flatter, and, lest this should seem 
O'ercharg'd with praises on so dear a theme, 
Although thy worth be more- than half supprest^ 
Love shall be satisfied, and veil the rest*- 




SWEET stream ! that winds thro"" yonder glade^ 
Apt embelm of a virtuous maid, 
Silent and chaste, she steals along. 
Far from the world's gay, busy throng ^ 
With gentle, yet prevailing force, 
' Intent upon her destin'd course r 
Graceful and useful afl she does. 
Blessing, and blest, where'er she goes : 
Pure-bosom'd, as that watery glassj 
And heaven reflected in her face* 


SUNS that set, and Moons that wane, 
Rise and are restored again. 


Stars, that orient day subdues, 

Night at her return renews. 
Herbs and flowers, the beauteous birth 
Of the genial womb of earth, 
Sufifer but a transient death 
From the winter^s cruel breath. 
Zephyr speaks ; serener skies 
Warm the glebe ; and they arise. 
We, alas ! Earth's haughty kings,. 
We, that promise mighty things. 
Losing soon life's happy prime. 
Droop and fade in little time. 
Spring returns, but not our bloom^ 
Still 'tis winter in the tomb.- 


HERE Johnson lies — a sage by all allow'd, 

Whom to have bred may well make England proud ; 

Whose prose was eloquence, by wisdom taught, 

The graceful vehicle of virtuous thought ; 

Whose verse may claim- — grave, masculine, and strong^ 

Superior praise to the mere poet's song ; 

Who many a noble gift from heaven possess'd, 

And faith at last, alone worth all the rest, 

O man immortal by a double prize ! 

By fame on earth — by glory in the skies ! 


HOW many between east and west 
Disgrace their parent earth. 


Whose deeds constrain us to detest 
The day that gave them birth I 

Not so when Stella's natal morn 

Revolving months restore, 
We can rejoice that she was born, 

And wish her born once more ! 


On the Death of Samuel Rose, Esq.- 


ESTEEMED, admir'd, and lost in manhood's prime 5 

But who may question God's appointed time ? 

Rash grief, profane not Rose's hallow'd tomb, 

Though Heaven its gifts of earthly hope resume ! 

L?arning, and wit, and eloquence, and truth, 

The patient thought of age, the zeal of youth, 

To man these bright endowments seem'd to clain^ 

A long and rich career of legal fame. 

But angels often from their sire impart 

His early summons to the pure in heart. 

Friendship must weep, though Faith with blameless.' 

Tells, how the christian triumph'd ai he died. 
Earch's dearest blessings round his heart entwin'd,. 
To God, who gave them all, he all resigned: 


[^The occa-sionon which these lines were written is re- 
lated by Cowper as folloAvs, in a letter to the Rev. 
William Unwin in 1782.———** Passing from thct 


green house to the barn, I saw three kittens lookfng 
with a fixt attention on something which lay on 
the threshold of a door nailed up. I took but lit* 
tie notice of them at first ; but a loud hiss engaged 
me to attend more closely, when behold — a viper ! 
the largest I remember to have seen, rearing itself, 
darting its forked tongue, and ejaculating the afore-- 
said hiss at the nose of a kitten, almost in contact 
with his hps. I ran into the hall for a hoe with a 
long handle, with which I intended to assail him, 
and returning in a few seconds missed him. He 
was gone, and I feared had escaped me. Still how-^ 
ever the kitten sat watching immoveably upon the 
sr:me spot. I concluded therefore, that, sliding be- 
tween the door and the threshold, he had found his 
way out of the garden into the yard. I went 
round immediately, and there found him in close 
conversation with tlie old cat, whose curiosity, be- 
ing excited by so novel an appearance, incHned her 
to pat his head repeatedly with her fore -foot, with 
her claws however sheathed, and not in anger, but 
in the way of philosophic inquiry and examination. 
To prevent her falling a victim to so laudable an 
exercise of her talents, I interposed in a moment 
with the hoe, and performed upon him an act of 
decapitation, which, though not immediately mor- 
tal, proved so in the end.- Had he slid into the 
passages, where it is dark, or had he when in the 
yard met with no interruption from the cat, and 
secreted himself in any of the out-houses, it is 
hardly possible but that some of the family must 
have been bitten- He might have been trodden up- 
on without being perceived, and have slipped away^ 
before the fufferer could have distinguished what 
foe had wounded him. Three years ago we dis- 
€overed one in the same place, which the barber 
slew with a trowel/'J 



CLOSE by the threshold of a door, nail'd fast. 
Three kittens sat. Each kitten look'd aghast, 
I, passiBg swift and inattentive by, 
At the three kittens cast a careless eye ; 
Not much concerned to know what they did there, 
Not deeming kittens worth a poet's care. 
But presently a loud and furious hiss 
Caus'd me to 5top, and to exclaim — " What's this ?'* 
When, lo I upon the threshold met my view, 
With head erect and eyes of fiery hue, 
A viper, long as Count de Grasse's queue. 
Forth from his head his forked tongue he throws. 
Darting it full against a kitten's nose ; 
Who, having never seen in field or house 
The like, sat still and silent, as a mouse* 
Only, projecting with attention due 
Her whisker'd face, she asVd him— "Who are you ?** 
On to the hall went I with pace not slow. 
But swift as lightning, for a long Dutch hoe ; 
With which, well arm'd, I hasten'd to the spot^ 
To find the viper. But I found him not ; 
And, turning up the leaves and shrubs around. 
Found only, that he was not to be found, 
^ut still the kittens, sitting as before. 
Sat, watching close the bottom of the door- 
** I hope (said I) the villain I would kill 
Has slipt between the door and the door's sill j 
And if I make dispatch, and follow hard. 
No doubt, but I shall find him in the yard.*' 
For long ere now it should have been reheara'd, 
'Twas iu the garden that I found him first. 


E'en there I found him. There the full grown cat 

His head with velvet paw did gently pat, 

As curious as the kittens erst had been 

To learn what this phenomenon might mean* 

Fill'd with heroic ardour at the sight, 

And fearing every moment he would bite. 

And rob our household of our only cat. 

That was of age, to combat with a rat, 

With out-stretch*dhoe I slew him at the door, 

And-taught him ne^^r to corns there no more. 


£The follcwing were written by Cowperat the re* 
quest of Thomas Gifford, Esq. who sowed twenty 
acres with acorns on each side of his house. These 
memorials he erected on the occasion, that, when 
■posterity shall be curious to know the age of the 
oaks, their curiosity may be gratified.— Mr. Gif- 
ford ordered his lapidary to cut the characters very 
deep-^nd in stone extrem.ely hard.] 


•OTHER stones the era tdl 

When some feeble mortal fell. 

I stand here to date the birth 

Of these hardy sons of earth. A^'no 1?^. 

READER ! Behold a m.onument 

That asks no sigh or tear, 
Though it perpetuate th' event 

Of a great burial here. An no 1791.